Cleveland Bands Perform Late Night Concert With Warner Pacific College

By Kira Rea, Reporter


Band teacher Gary Riler led his concert and symphonic bands through another amazing performance on the evening of April 5 in an effort to gain support in purchasing new marching band uniforms. Taking place at Warner Pacific College in Northeast Portland and in collaboration with their own orchestra, the Cleveland students achieved impressive notes and support from the crowd that gathered that evening.

The first piece performed by Cleveland’s concert band entitled “Brighten” invoked such emotions I felt like I was in another realm of imagination. Then came “Prospect” followed by “Letherbridge Overture.”

“Florentiner” was the first song performed by the symphonic band and is historically Italian, but as Riler put it, “You’ll think more like Germany,” and that I did. I was immersed in a party of pompous barons and lords, dashing through the forest on a fox hunt, hounds nipping at thin air in anticipation. It was a very patriotic tune with strong influence of the flute section and the continuous calls of a bugle-like instrument.

Symphonic Dance No. 3 or rather, “Fiesta” was the second piece performed by the symphonic group and  was fairly unnerving. The title seems particularly deceiving as well. There was one unidentifiable instrument that had the hairs on the back of my neck standing straight up, it was rattling like a loose train car going along the tracks and quaking back and forth. It reminded me of the scene from Psycho where Marion pulls up to the hotel and there’s an immediate eery feeling; you already know she should turn around and break speed limit until she’s far far away. The presence of the triangle made it all the more anxious.

I was certainly most impressed by the performances of the flute and trumpet sections: they had a much stronger presence in the performance than I had anticipated. So much so that I felt like they were the groups truly leading the tempo of the band despite it being said that is in fact the job of the drummers. In their final performance, Cleveland’s band performed the famous song “Ave Maria” with the Warner Pacific band.

Not only is Cleveland band having quite a successful year in terms of fundraising, but like many years past, a number of students have also achieved extraordinary opportunities due to their impressive talents. Ursula Larson, Melissa Paterson, Amanda Riler, and Georgia Hasting were all automatic qualifiers for state championships in late April while Cyrus Johnson and Alexia Trettin also received superior second place scores and too will be attending state championships. Sylvan Talavera and Patterson will be performing a duet at state on April 29.

Riler and his students have been amazed by the support they’ve raised throughout the Cleveland community and beyond, the concert being one of many efforts by Riler to raise money to afford new marching band uniforms. The PTA chipped in a whopping $7,000 dollars earlier this year and shortly thereafter the Cleveland Alumni Association also donated another $7,000. The Booster Club then promised to match every five uniforms purchased which comes in at about $1,500. Each uniform costs close to $300, which is a hefty price for any school budget.

Riler loves the momentum and appreciates all the support he’s received so far, however he’s going to need even more to reach his goal of $60,000 dollars to ensure marching band uniforms for all. The uniforms Cleveland currently has are from 1985. Riler is also looking for any parents experienced with mending and fitting uniforms.