Editor's Note: Cerritos-Artesia Patch will be posting musician profiles and providing updates from the during their travels to Paris and London.
Music Director Tim Trost and the students of the school's Wind Symphony jetsetted to London for the 2012 Olympics on Saturday, July 21.
Patch caught up with Trost before the group departed and he reflected on the ensemble's progress over the past year. Trost said preparing for the group's performance at Paris and the London Olympics has been one of the most challenging, yet rewarding experiences in his 11 years as the music director of the school.
The group is the only group of student musicians invited to perform at the London Olympics, including the London Music Festival, where it will compete for gold against four other music groups from around the world, including China, the United Kingdom, Sipan (a cluster of islands near Croatia) and a choral group from Northern California.
Cerritos Patch: So, you're headed to the Olympics. Tell us, how did that process even start?
Tim Trost: Well, about a month before we were getting ready to leave to play at Carnegie Hall last year, I got an phone call from a corporation called World Projects, which organized our performance at Carnegie Hall. Out of the clear blue, I get a phone call from the CEO of World Projects saying that the London Organizing Committee at the Olympic Games contacted World Projects and asked her who they thought would be a good group to send to the Olympics. So, she said how would you like to go to the Olympics? Of course, I said yes.
Patch: What was your reaction to that phone call?
Trost: Well, at first I was a little shocked, like wow, I didn't even have to audition... it was amazing for them just to contact us.
Patch: How soon afterwards did you start practicing?
Trost: We've been practicing since last year, around the end of March. But we've been really intensely working for the past five months.
Patch: What have been some of the struggles and triumphs for you over the past five months?
Trost: The struggle is making sure the students are consistent, you know, are they are practicing, are they keeping up with their music. Just making sure that they are retaining the information that's taught to them is a big challenge.
Patch: What do you do to inspire them and keep them focused?
Trost: I just tell them, 'Look you're going to be on national television, why would you not want to sound great and look good on TV?'
Patch: Would you say this project has been one of your bigger challenges as a music teacher?
Trost: It's been a challenging year, let me tell you. Making sure students are paying their money on time for the trip, just getting the kids to practice and getting everything set and ready to go…
Patch: Is there any part of the trip you are looking forward to the most? The moment when you see them playing? The moments afterwards?
Trost: Just the whole process, the whole time that we're there from the sightseeing to the performances. All of that is going to be a highlight.
Patch: What do you hope your students will gain from the experience?
Trost: They're going to remember this for many, many years, probably for the rest of their life.
Patch: Have you started thinking about what you're going to tell them the moment before they go on?
Trost: I don't think about that until the actual moment happens. It's one of those things where your atmosphere changes, the mood, etc. It's hard to explain but you just don't think about those things ahead of time. You live in the moment and it comes out right.
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The Cerritos High Wind Symphony performance itinerary in Europe is as follows:
- Tuesday, July 24 - performance in Paris
- Thursday, July 26 - performance as part of the United Nations Association Event at Central Hall Westminster in London
- Friday, July 27 - performance in Adjudicated Concert at Central Hall Westminster in London
- Saturday, July 28 - performance at main Bandstand inside OlympicPark in London
- Sunday, July 29 -- (just added to the itinerary) performance as part of the ‘Opening Statement’ – officially opening Olympic Park to the public on that day, leading the procession of the public as they walk through the park to the venues.
Click here for complete coverage on the CHS Wind Symphony's once in a lifetime opportunity to represent the city of Cerritos and the country on the world's biggest stage.