band-practice-the-saxophones-2Oakland Tech is proud to present a wide variety of music classes.

Instrumental Music:

Overheard outside Tech’s band practice room: “I want to go to that party!”  For students who play – or who want to learn to play – an instrument, Tech will offer the following in 2010-2011:

Jazz Band and Concert Band
Piano (beginners welcome)
Guitar (beginners welcome)

Tech’s orchestra and jazz bands perform in large and small ensembles at the school and in festivals and competitions in Oakland and around the Bay.  Qualified solo musicians may play in the jazz bands.  Click the links above for more information on these offerings.

Vocal Music:

Tech offers an after-school Chorus and Voice Class open to all students.

opera-piccola-chorus1 guitar-class orchestra-on-stage-closeup

music Posts

Winter Concert

Come out to support instrumental music at Tech!   Our Winter Concert, directed by Helena Moss-Jack will take place on Thursday, December 18, 2014, beginning at 7 pm in the Oakland Tech auditorium, 310 42nd Street, Oakland.   There is no charge for this performance; donations are gratefully accepted.

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OTHS Music Department Spring Concert
The OTHS Music Department will present a Spring Concert, May 29, 2014 at 7 pm.. The Jazz Band, Orchestra and Guitar students will be featured, under the direction of  Helena Jack and Beth Snellings
GeneralAdmission is FREE for all.   Donations are gratefully accepted!  At the  Oakland Technical High School Auditorium - 4351 Broadway enter on 42nd Street
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Sign up for Lotsa Helping Hands

Lotsa Helping Hands is a wonderful web-based signup system for helping out Tech’s Performing Arts students.  You can sign up to provide a meal for performers, work in the box office or provide other much needed assistance.   Click on the helping hands graphic or the words below  for a link. to the website where you can sign up.


Please contact Yvette Bass, Performing Arts Committee Chair, if you need assistance.

CLICK HERE FOR STEP-BY-STEP INSTRUCTIONS on how to sign up for the Lotsa Helping Hands Website

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Orchestra and Jazz Band Spring Concert

The Orchestra Spring Concert will take place on May 24, 7:00 p.m. in the beautiful Tech auditorium.

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Tech Jazz Bands To Perform at Yoshi’s Jazz Club

Come hear Tech’s Jazz Bands at Yoshi’s world-famous jazz club on Monday, April 15th! Proceeds from ticket sales will help the Orchestra attend the “Music in the Parks” competition at Great America.

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Choir/Poetry Class Solo Recital March 14

The Choir/Poetry class presents its Solo Recital Thursday, March 14, 6:30 pm in the Tech Auditorium

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Winter Concert

Mark your calendars for the Music Department’s Winter Concert: December 20, 6:30 p.m. Come hear Tech’s talented musicians and award-winning ensembles!

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Performing Arts Holiday Assembly for All Students

A grand collaborative performance for all Tech students, featuring dance, drama, music and fashion, in the Auditorium.

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Musical Drama and Choir Showcase

The period 6 Drama Class and the Choir present a Showcase on the theme of “Courage.”

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Jazz Band Fundraiser Featuring Tower of Power Trumpeter

Tower of Power brass player Mic Gillette headlines a fundraiser for Tech’s fantastic Jazz Band on Friday, November 9th at 7:00pm.

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Orchestra Fall Concert

On October 30, the Tech Music Department will present the Orchestra. This is your chance to hear the violins, cellos, string basses, flutes, brass – the whole orchestra – in a concert all by itself!

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Tech Jazz Band at the CMEA Jazz Festival East

Tech’s Jazz Band performs at the prestigious CMEA Jazz Festival East at Northgate High in Walnut Creek on Jan. 18.

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Tech Orchestra to Perform at Great America’s Music in the Parks


On May 10, 2014  for the fourth year in a row, Oakland Tech’s Orchestra will be performing at Music in the Parks, held this year at Milpitas High School.

Music in the Parks brings together school groups from around the Bay Area at a grand performance, followed by an award ceremony.  Tech’s Orchestra has a great track record of outstanding performances at this event over the past three years!


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Stay Tuned for the Honor Band

Hear Oakland’s top instrumental music students in the Honor Band at Tech, December 1 at 1 p.m. in the Tech Auditorium

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Jazz Band and Orchestra Spring Concert

Don’t miss the Jazz Band and Orchestra Concert, May 24 at 6:30 p.m.

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Choir/Poetry Class Presents “Songs for Summer Nights”

Don’t miss the Choir/Poetry Class’s last performance of the year, June 5 at 6:30 in the Auditorium

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Choir/Poetry Solo Recital March 22

Tech’s Chorus/Voice class presents an intimate cabaret-style choir/poetry solo recital on March 22, 2012, on the stage at the Tech Auditorium.

Students will each be singing a solo of their choice, and the class will perform two ensemble pieces. In addition, a few students will read a selection of original poems written in class and/or posted on our blog. The recital is a chance for each singer to grow — picking a song or poem that will help to expand their vocal tone, range, and expressiveness — not to mention dealing with stage fright.

Vocal coach Susannah Wood gave each���¢�¯�¿�½���¦ Read the rest

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Tech Musicians Perform with Oakland East Bay Symphony

Three Tech musicians performed at the Paramount Theater with the Oakland East Bay Symphony.

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OUSD Music Teachers’ Band, Big O, at Yoshi’s

On Monday, February 27, 2012, Big O, the big band of Oakland Unified Music Teachers, will take the stage at Yoshi’s. The money raised will go towards supporting the OUSD Music Department.

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Tech Jazz Bands Perform at Yoshi’s Jazz Club

Come hear Tech’s Jazz Bands at Yoshi’s world-famous jazz club on April 2!

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Annual OUSD Orchestra Festival

The annual OUSD Orchestra Festival will be held at Roosevelt Middle School on Thursday, March 8th at 6:30 p.m. Please note the change of venue!

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10th Annual OUSD Jazz Festival

Hear legendary percussionist Pete Escovedo at the 10th Annual OUSD Jazz Festival, February 9 at 6:30 p.m….FREE!

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Tech Jazz Band at the CMEA Jazz Festival East

Tech’s Jazz Band performs at the prestigious CMEA Jazz Festival East at Northgate High in Walnut Creek on Jan. 20

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Oak Tech CHORUS Holiday Show

Welcome the holidays with a potluck songfest led by Tech’s Chorus, December 16, 6-7:30 p.m. in Room A3

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Tech’s Choir to Sing in the Snow (!) at Rockridge BART

Come hear the Chorus sing holiday song at the Snow Day at Rockridge BART, Saturday 11/27, 3-4 p.m.

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Don’t Miss the Winter Concert!

Don’t miss the Music Winter Concert December 1!

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Ancestor Assembly

The Ancestor Assembly is a Tech tradition, with instrumental music, voice, dance and drama presentations.  Mark your calendars!

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New Arts Credit Recovery Program Offers 10 Units Elective Credit

Exciting new Arts Credit Recovery Program offers 10 units elective credit in after-school program

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Performance Celebrates Restoration of Tech’s Piano

Tech’s students gave a gala performance to thank the Class of ’61 for restoring our beautiful piano.

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Free Concert Featuring Tech’s Restored Steinway Grand Piano

The Tech community and the public are invited to a free concert on Saturday, September 17, celebrating the restoration of Tech’s beautiful Steinway grand piano, courtesy of the extraordinary generosity of Tech’s Class of 1961.

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Spring Music Showcase

Tech’s award-winning jazz band and orchestra will perform their final concert of the year on June 2 at 6:30 p.m.

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Tech Orchestra Wins Trophy at Great America Music in the Parks

For the second year in a row, Tech’s Orchestra bring home the gold medal at Music in the Parks at Great America!

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Tech Musicians Play Side by Side with Oakland East Bay Symphony

Several Tech musicians played side by side with the Oakland East Bay Symphony in the fabulous Paramount Theater.

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Orchestra to Perform at Great America

Hear Tech’s Orchestra play at Music in the Parks at California’s Great America in Santa Clara on May 7.

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Spring Play 2011: Blues for an Alabama Sky

Come see Tech’s Spring play, Blues for an Alabama Sky, May 25-27.

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Tech’s Performing Arts Department Threatened by Budget Cuts

We all know the economy is bad.  But did you know that our children are right in the line of the budget axe?

Current budget proposals would eliminate nearly all performing arts from all schools in California.

Watch a video made by student Saskia Levy-Sheon in which Tech Performing Arts students explain what the arts have meant to them, and what it would mean to have performing arts programs cut:

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Arts Committee Meeting

Our students produce amazing works of performing and fine art, and the arts fuel their academic lives, but budget cuts threaten the arts in schools.  We need your input!

Please join us at a meeting of the Arts Committee, Friday, March 25, at 7:30 a.m. in the Principal’s Conference Room.

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Thank You Class of 1961 for Restoring Our Piano!

Thanks to the extraordinary generosity of Tech’s Class of 1961, our beautiful Steinway grand piano has been restored!

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Chorus and Voice Class Spring Solo Recital

Tech’s Chorus and Voice Class presents its Spring Solo Recital!  This will be an informal, intimate setting, with the audience sitting on the auditorium stage with the performers and the curtain closed.

Please enter from the 42nd street side door directly into the auditorium.

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Tech Chorus: Market Survival

On February 26, 2011, Tech students Kai Caldwell, Azuri Reyes, Godiva McGinty and Ana Acosta of the Oakland Tech Chorus did what few of us would have the guts to do.  Here’s a report from someone who was there:

Last Saturday the Chorus went to the Emeryville Public Market & performed in the middle of the Food Court.
It was loud, people had no idea what was going on…
The kids did a great job!
I am very proud of them & I wanted to share it with the group.

Hear the Chorus’s Market performance here on YouTube:

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Arts Committee Work Day, January 8


We will be having a volunteer work day this Saturday, January 8, from 10am-3pm.

Meet at the Auditorium to find out how you can help. Even just 30 minutes out of your day is extremely helpful. Plus, it’s a great opportunity to better get to know others in the community.

We will be sprucing up the Auditorium, organizing backstage areas, and helping with the needs of the Dance Studio.

From 12pm-1pm we will break for a meeting of the Performing Arts Committee.  Lunch will be provided!  All are welcome to sit in and provide input on theÃ��Ã�¢Ã�¯Ã�¿Ã�½Ã��Ã�¦ Read the rest

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Tech Musicians Perform at Mayor Quan’s Inauguration

jean-quanGuests at the inauguration of Jean Quan as Oakland’s Mayor on Monday, January 3, 2011 were treated to the fabulous music of Tech’s jazz band.  At a party the evening before the inauguration, a string quartet from Tech joined musicians from Edna Brewer, Skyline, Westlake, and Bret Harte, as well as the Big-O Band, an ensemble of music teachers throughout the Oakland Unified School District.

Congratulations to Tech’s student musicians for receiving this honor!

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Chorus Carols at Temescal Fair

If you attended the wonderful Temescal Holiday Stroll on December 11, you may have been lucky enough to hear Tech’s Chorus sing carols!

Wearing Santa hats and reindeer antlers, the singers went to various locations on Telegraph Avenue and sang to merchants, shoppers and passersby.  Read Chorus Director Susannah Wood’s account at (activate the search feature by typing CTRL+F and then type Oakland Tech).

Congratulations to the chorus for participating in these festivities!

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Reflection on Dracula

Gareth Tidball ’12, who played Dracula in the recent production, reflects on the experience.

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Winter Music Concert

Don’t miss Tech’s winter music concert! Come hear the orchestra, jazz band and chorus in what’s always a highlight of the performing arts calendar!

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Performing Arts Information Reception

All Oakland Tech Performing Arts students & families are welcome! Light Refreshments, Performances, Question & Answer Period, Performing Arts Committee Drive

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Back to School Night – Performing Arts Edition

tech-front-facade1You’re invited to “Back to School Night – Performing Arts Edition.”

Come meet and mingle with teachers, administrators and parents (refreshments served!) in Tech’s beautiful auditorium, find out what your students are doing and what’s planned in Tech’s arts courses, and learn about plans to continue upgrading and renovating the auditorium.  And of course, there will be time for you to ask questions and find out how you can become involved in making Tech’s arts education even better!

We need volunteers for this event to bring and set up refreshments.  Please contact Performing Arts Chair Sonja Travick at ayanoni@aol.comÃ��Ã�¢Ã�¯Ã�¿Ã�½Ã��Ã�¦ Read the rest

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Dracula! at Tech!

Tech’s Production Drama class is proud to present Bram Stoker’s classic Dracula in an adaptation of Orson Welles’ fabulous radio play.

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Chorus and Voice Class Seeking Pianist/Accompanist

pianoTech’s Chorus and Voice Class is looking for a pianist who can sight read well and is willing to help on a volunteer basis or for a very small honorarium.  If you are interested or know someone who can help, please contact Susannah Wood at

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Ancestors Assembly

Each year, Tech’s performing arts students honor some of the diverse cultural traditions that our student body represents through music, spoken word, dramatic performance and dance in the Ancestors Assembly.  The entire student body and all staff and faculty attend this moving and beautiful event.

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Performing Arts Classes at Oakland Tech, Academic Year 2010-2011


  • Beginning band, 1st period
  • Piano, 2nd period
  • Band, 4th period
  • Orchestra, 5th period
  • Jazz band, 6th period
  • Chorus and voice, 7th period (after school) Tuesdays and minimum Wednesdays (not for credit)


  • Beginning dance, 2nd period
  • Beginning dance, 3rd, 4th and 5th periods
  • Advanced dance, 6th period


  • 9th grade Drama/English, 2nd/3rd and 5th/6th periods
  • Beginning drama
  • Advanced Drama, 6th period
  • Performance Drama, 7th period (after school) Monday, Wednesday & Friday

Tech Techies:

  • 7th period (after school) Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday (not for credit)
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Performing Arts Committee Retreat

All are welcome to the Performing Arts Committee Retreat, Sunday, October 3, 2010, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.  Teachers and parents will come together to talk about our plans and hopes for the Performing Arts Academy, the Drama, Dance and Music departments, and the Auditorium this coming year and in the future.

The Retreat will be held at the Attitudinal Healing Connection, 3278 West Street (corner of 33rd St. and West St.).  A light breakfast and lunch will be provided.

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Technical Director Casey Fern’s Wish List

under-constructionHello Parents, Faculty, and Friends of the Performing Arts at Oakland Tech.

The Tech Techies after-school program needs your help!  We need some tools and supplies to really kick the program into high gear. My goal is to turn the Workshop behind the Auditorium into a functioning work space where students can learn what it is like to design lights, sound, sets, props, and costumes in the professional theatre world. And since Tech Techies’ goal is to better serve all performances at Oakland Tech, any support you give the program will in turn support ALL performing arts at our school.Ã��Ã�¢Ã�¯Ã�¿Ã�½Ã��Ã�¦ Read the rest

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Chorus and Voice Class Seeking Pianist

Tech’s Chorus and Voice Class is looking for a pianist who can sight read well, who is willing to help on a volunteer basis or for a very small honorarium.  If you are interested or know someone who can help, please contact Susannah Wood at

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Chorus and Solo Vocal Music by Opera Piccola

In addition to all Tech’s instrumental music offerings, Tech’s community arts partner Opera Piccola offers choral singing as a before-school club. Tech’s small chorus – three young men and ten young women from ninth through twelfth grades – comes sleepily to practice once a week at 7:30 AM. By the time our fifty minutes of vocal technique and learning music is over, we’re all feeling pretty good about the day ahead of us. We have to relax, breathe deeply and listen to all the pitches that hang in the air around us. Studies have shown the value of music performanceÃ��Ã�¢Ã�¯Ã�¿Ã�½Ã��Ã�¦ Read the rest

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OUSD Orchestra Festival

Mark your calendars for March 10, 2011 for the OUSD Orchestra Festival at Roosevelt Middle School!  You won’t want to miss this event featuring orchestral music by student musicians from all over the District, including of course our own Tech orchestra under the direction of our own David Byrd!

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OUSD Jazz Festival at Tech

Don’t miss the OUSD All-District Jazz Festival at Oakland Tech!

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Stay Tuned for the Honor Band

You don’t want to miss this: one night only, the fall 2010 performance of the OUSD  Honor Band, the fabulous ensemble that comes together when the music teachers from Bret Harte, Edna Brewer, Westlake, Skyline, Montera, Oakland High, Claremont Middle School and Tech nominate their top talent!  Every student enrolled in instrumental music is eligible.

November 6 -Honor Band Rehearsal @Edna Brewer Middle School
November 13 -Honor Band Rehearsal @Edna Brewer Middle School
November 18 -Honor Band Concert @ Oakland Tech!

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Jazz Band Mentors at Cazadero Music Camp

young-musicians-outdoorsFrom October 1-3, 2010, as he has done each fall, Tech music teacher David Byrd brought a handpicked group of students to the prestigious and beautiful Cazadero music camp, to act as mentors in the “JumpStart in Music” program.

JumpStart in Music is an intensive three-day mini camp for approximately 150 students from six OUSD middle schools who have completed their first year in band or orchestra.  JumpStart in Music’s mission is to increase involvement of children in school music programs, build leadership in a cross-cultural program among an ethnically diverse student body,Ã��Ã�¢Ã�¯Ã�¿Ã�½Ã��Ã�¦ Read the rest

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Tech’s Jazz Band to Perform at Yoshi’s!

Tech’s jazz band performs at the world-famous Yoshi’s jazz club – two shows only, April 11 at 7 and 9

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Opera Piccola Chorus Pairs with Baritone Martin Bell

martin_bell_informal2The Opera Piccola Chorus is delighted to announce that classical baritone Martin Bell is lending his extraordinary talents to help the chorus’ male singers learn to use their lower registers.

Mr. Bell is a resident of Oakland.  He has performed with the Oakland Lyric Opera, Berkeley Opera, Oakland Opera Theater, Capital Opera, West Marin Festival Orchestra, Oakland Festival Chorus, North Bay Opera and San Francisco Lyric Opera.  Oakland Tech and Opera Piccola welcome Martin Bell!

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Opera Piccola Chorus Concerts Spring 2010

As the school year winds down, Opera Piccola has several concerts lined up:

  • On May 26, the chorus will continue our tradition of performing in local senior centers.
  • The Opera Piccola Chorus will perform several numbers, including the Beatles’ “Eleanor Rigby,” at the Tech Spring Concert on June 3, 2010, at 6:30 p.m.

Please help support our efforts to make Chorus a full-credit class during the school day beginning in school year 2010-2011!  Write a comment in response to this post, and you will be connected with the people working on this effort.

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Spring Concert 2010!

Jazz, orchestra, song … It’s always a great evening at the final concert for the music department.  Come hear all of Tech’s talented music students: orchestra, jazz ensembles, instrumental soloists, and the Opera Piccola chorus.

When: June 3, 2010, 6:30 p.m.

Where: The Tech Auditorium, 42nd Street at Broadway

Bring your friends!  Tell the community!



Tech choral music students

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Tech Orchestra at the March 2010 OUSD Orchestra Festival

orchestra-on-stage-closeupTech’s Orchestra performed at the March 11, 2010 OUSD Orchestra Festival, where a spontaneous and lovely collaboration occurred.

At the Festival, the Skyline and Oakland Tech High School orchestras realized they’d prepared the same song for the

OUSD Orchestra Festival – Bacchanale by Camille Saint-Saens – so without any advance preparation, they played it together! What a thrilling and beautiful big sound from the spontaneously formed SkyTech/OakLine orchestra!

As if that weren’t enough, the 11 participating middle and high school orchestras (including students from “failing” school Elmhurst Community Prep) performed the last two numbers together as the OUSD Combined Orchestra,Ã��Ã�¢Ã�¯Ã�¿Ã�½Ã��Ã�¦ Read the rest

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Tech orchestra’s surprise collaboration at OUSD Orchestra Festival

Tech’s Orchestra performed at the March 11, 2010 OUSD Orchestra Festival, where a spontaneous and lovely collaboration occurred.

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