Amador Wind Ensemble performs in Sonoma Invitational at Sonoma State University


Amogh Belgal

The Amador Band performed in the Green Music Center.

Amogh Belgal, Staff Writer

On March ninth, Sonoma State University hosted its annual Sonoma State Invitational. Wind ensembles and orchestras from all around the Bay Area were invited to perform in front of judges and spectators in the audience.

“Amador has been invited to perform at Sonoma State every year since 2014, except for 2020 because of the pandemic. Both of our wind ensembles perform, and they always do an exceptional job,” said AV Band Director Jon Grantham. 

After each band performed, they had a thirty minute private clinic with acclaimed clinicians and band directors from all over the country. Each clinician, depending on the specific bands’ performance, brought advice and tips to improve the band. 

“The clinic helped with the band because it focused on very specific things, such as short sections of our pieces. The clinician was great…He was very entertaining to listen to, and he had great feedback for us as well. So, I think overall, the clinic just helped us improve,” said Wind Two Percussionist Vardaan Singhania(‘25). 

In addition to a performance and a clinic, Amador bands were able to watch other bands including Sonoma State University’s own wind ensemble and orchestra. They played a series of songs, including the western premiere of Medallic Figures by Kevin Day

“Getting to hear other groups perform just gives you a chance to watch and listen to music instead of performing it, which is a good part of our learning processes in ensembles,” said Grantham

During the performance, judges would make a recording commenting on the quality of sound coming from the band as well as technical aspects like clarity and dynamics. 

“Listening to judges feedback is beneficial, so we can get a perspective of what we’re doing right and what we’re doing wrong from someone who’s maybe never heard Amador or even our song before, or even someone with a different view on music than us,” said Wind One Percussionist Rathul Anand(‘23)

The Sonoma State invitational gave students a chance to perform in a concert hall with critiques from professional musicians. In addition to that, the bus rides with friends gave the students a chance to bond with their band members. In the end, Grantham wanted it to be a fun experience for the band to bond.

“I think there’s a lot of fun in just spending time together outside of the class period. This is a really cool opportunity for the students to take a bus trip, to have a meal together, and to just spend time outside of the class period, and that helps to strengthen those bonds,” said Grantham.