As many as 1,100 Modesto City Schools students – woodwind, string, brass and percussion players – are performing in this week’s District Music Festival, which began Tuesday and continues Wednesday evening in the gym at Davis High School.
Each evening’s concert will be the same roughly 45-minute program, “a mix of traditional literature and more modern music,” said Brandon Price, Modesto City Schools’ K-8 instrumental music coordinator. Pieces being rehearsed Tuesday morning ranged from “Bingo” (the song about the dog) to Beethoven (the composer, not the St. Bernard of movie fame).
But for the most part, the fourth- through sixth-grade musicians will change from one night to the next, with 11 elementary schools Tuesday night and another 11 schools Wednesday night. The exception is the All-District Honor Orchestra, a group of about 100 top students that kicks off each evening’s concert, Price said.
Music teachers directing students in rehearsal Tuesday morning said the District Music Festival dates to at least the mid-1950s.
Students performing Tuesday night were from Bret Harte, El Vista, Fairview, Fremont, Lakewood, Martone, Muir, Rose, Shackelford, Tuolumne and Wilson schools. Performing Wednesday night are students from Beard, Burbank, Enslen, Everett, Franklin, Garrison, Kirschen, Marshall, Robertson Road, Sonoma and Wright schools.
Admission is free to the music festival concerts, which begin at 7:30 p.m. in the Davis High School gymnasium, 1200 W. Rumble Road.