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SIS hosts KAIAC Large Group Festival

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Every year, bands from different schools gather for the KAIAC Large Group Festival. Bands get the opportunity to listen to each other and evaluate their skills by getting either a platinum, gold, silver, or bronze plate. For the second year in a row, SIS hosted the festival, which was held on March 7.

Originally, the festival was supposed to be held at Camp Humphreys. However, due to complications, the festival was canceled. With none of the other schools volunteering to host the festival, Michael Ganus, SIS band director, decided to host it at SIS.

“The KAIAC Music Liaison contacted several schools to see who could host,” Michael Ganus, band director of SIS, said. “KAIAC could not find a school willing to host, so they were going to make the festival virtual where we just send in videos and they would have been judged at a later date.  I feel that having a festival experience for my students is too valuable to waste on a recording and therefore volunteered to host.”

Since the beginning of the second semester, the HS Band had practiced three pieces not only at school but outside of school as well.

“I think that the band is expecting a high rating this year,” Yoonwoo Lee (10), trumpet player in the band, said. “Since the past, SIS bands have always gotten either a platinum or gold plate. Although it is slightly disappointing that SIS has to host the festival for another year and that COVID-19 destroyed the yearly norm of having KAIAC, most of us have continued to use our own time to practice. This year is special because it will be Mr. Ganus’ last year in SIS.”

Mr. Ganus has been a band director at SIS for over a decade. Most of the current band members have known him since elementary school, so the students have practiced for the festival with great effort. Mr. Ganus led numerous successful bands, each getting rated either platinum or gold in KAIAC.

“From the perspective of a band director who is performing at the festival, I want my kids to get feedback on how they are doing,” Mr. Ganus said before the festival began. “I want someone besides ourselves and our parents to tell us if we achieve in an objective view. That is the goal of a KAIAC Festival, for outside observers to give you a sense of how accomplished you are. Our bands are doing great! I can never promise a platinum award, but I am certain that we will earn a high score and be very proud of our performances today.”

Both bands each played three songs for the festival. SIS produced outstanding results, with both bands being rated platinum. 

“After the band got platinum, I felt relieved. Despite my multiple mistakes, I feared we might only achieve gold or lower,” Colin Ryu (9), a trombone player in the band, said. “Hearing that the band played in unison and performed well brought immense relief. I am really sad that I will miss one of my favorite teachers, Mr Ganus. He always took care of me since the fifth grade and I always looked up to him.”

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About the Contributor
Everlyn Chong, Reporter
Everlyn Chong is a sophomore reporter for Tiger Times Online. She enjoys playing sports, especially basketball and golf. In her free time, you may find her reading novels, walking her dog, or listening to music. Feel free to approach her with any song recommendations!

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