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St. Helens High marching band concludes strong season

Bands, choirs set winter concerts next month


The marching band at St. Helens High School is coming off a season of respectable showings and heading into its holiday concerts and fundraiser.

Noelle Freshner, director of bands at St. Helens High, described the season as “really good” for the marching band.

“We had a great show concept,” she said. “It was a lot of fun to work on.”

The marching band’s concept this fall was “Drive,” featuring driving-themed motifs — including what Freshner described as “horn-honking” sounds and the use of tires as performance props.

The band placed second in its class at the first three competitions in which it participated against other regional high schools: the Pacific Coast Invitation at Sprague High School in Salem, the McKenzie Classic at Evergreen High School in Vancouver, Wash., and the Pride of the Northwest at Grants Pass High School.

At the fourth and final competition on Nov. 1, the Northwest Association for Performing Arts Championships at Hillsboro Stadium, the marching band again missed out on the finals stage. However, it placed fourth out of nine bands in its division with a total score of 69.5 — significantly higher than ninth-place finisher Aloha High School’s 59.4 score, and not much lower than the 73.65 score posted by division winner Tigard High School.

The marching band is now looking forward to its annual “Civil War ‘O’ Gram” fundraiser. On Friday, Nov. 21, days before the much-anticipated college football game between fierce rivals Oregon State University and the University of Oregon, the band will travel around the St. Helens area for performances of the schools’ fight songs, as ordered.

Orders can be placed for the band to perform either fight song at the “place of business, school, or home” of the person of the purchaser’s choice — whether “friend or foes,” as the fundraiser’s flier puts it.

‘O’ Grams can be ordered for $10 each. Orders must be relayed to Freshner by Thursday, Nov. 20, at 3:30 p.m.

Later on in the season, bands and choirs at St. Helens High and St. Helens Middle School will have their holiday concerts.

A combined “Winter Showcase” band and choir concert at the high school will take place Dec. 9 at 7 p.m. Middle and high school choirs will perform their winter concert on Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. On Dec. 16, middle and high school bands will have their winter concert, also at 7 p.m. All of the concerts will be at the high school. Admission is free.

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