Portland Christian Schools Preschool - Grade 12

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PCS Musicians on to State!

March 14, 2023


These two PCS student musicians together with other school mates, performed at the OMEA (Oregon Music Education Association) District 2 Solo and Ensemble Festival on March 4, 2023.

For Naomie Wagner, a 10th grader, it’ll be her second time at State for the Flute Solo Category. Her goal this year is to place in the top five. She shares, “it’s a big deal to make it to State and I want to be more competitive this year!”

It will be Graham Calhoun’s first time to State. And it’s a big deal since he is a 9th grader – OSAA (Oregon School Activities Association) participation begins in high school!  He does have a little pressure as his father, Erik Calhoun won State as a freshmen on the bassoon! Graham’s goal for State is “to place high or win!”

Music is important to both these students and their families.

As a new student to PCS this year, Naomie explains how she chose PCS after her school tour, “I liked the good community, the staff. The music program drew me to PCS.  I’ve been supported and encouraged to continue music here. I love the music community at PCS!”  The high school music program, which comprises of band and choir classes with Mr. Joseph Ostrand, has helped her grow and become more independent! As the only flautist in high school band (which was similar to her previous school), she’s had to practice and find the self-confidence and stage presence to perform together with the other musicians. “I’ve had to be loud and proud . . . to make my part noticeable,” explains Naomie.  She chose to play the flute as a 5th grader – her mother also plays the flute! Naomie continues with private flute lessons with Karen Gifford (https://www.transformationalflute.com/), while participating in PCS band and choir. She hopes to major in music education when she goes on to university.

When Graham had to choose an instrument in 4th grade, he wanted to play the trombone. But when he told his parents and band teacher, Mrs. Lisa Singleterry what he wanted to play, he said “trumpet” instead! But he admits that the trumpet as an instrument, reflects his personality better. He describes the trumpet as “bright, exciting, happy, clear, powerful.” A lifer at PCS (he started in preschool), Graham also plays as the 2nd chair trumpet player in the Apostolic Faith Church Youth Orchestra. He also receives private trumpet lessons from David Bamonte, PSU Director of Brass.  Along with playing the trumpet, Graham is a shooting guard for the PCS Varsity Basketball team, receiving an Honorable Mention 2023 All League Award from the 2A-1 Northwest League.

Click here to listen to a clip of both Naomie and Graham’s performances at the festival.

Along with Naomie and Graham, other students who competed at the District 2 Festival included:

Samurai Mom – Trumpet Solo Category
Hudson Calhoun – Trombone Solo Category
Sarah Asaya & Susan Asaya – Vocal Duet Category
Sarah Asaya – Soprano Voice Category
Anna Humphrey – Soprano Voice Category
Naomie Wagner – Mezzo Soprano Voice Category
PCS Vocal Ensemble (Sarah Asaya, Susan Asaya, Oliva Holmstedt, Anna Humphrey, Bella Orfield, Emma Ortman, Naomie Wagner, Leah Zallee) – Large Treble category

Sisters Sarah and Susan Asaya placed 3rd in their vocal duet and are 2nd alternates to State.
Sarah also placed 4th in Soprano Voice and is also a 2nd alternate to State.
The Vocal Ensemble placed 2nd and are the 1st alternate to State.

Congratulations to all our musicians and a grateful thanks to piano accompanist Janice Calhoun (yes, that’s Graham’s grandmother!).






Photos and words by Grace Dugger