The Student News Site of Wilsonville High School

Wilsonville Broadcast Network

The Student News Site of Wilsonville High School

Wilsonville Broadcast Network

The Student News Site of Wilsonville High School

Wilsonville Broadcast Network

One final crescendo

Saying goodbye to the Class of 2024.
Band and orchestra seniors standing on stage, recieving recognition at their final concert for all their hard work over the past 4 years. The experiences of Class of 2024 will live with them forever, but most importantly, the legacy they leave behind will have a positive ripple effect for future generations of Wilsonville musicians. Photo provided by Kevin Bruce.

The auditorium lights dim, students grab their instruments, and the crowd’s murmurings halt. Band and orchestra director, Chad Davies, walks on stage to introduce his music ensembles one final time. 

Amid the claps and shouts, a bittersweet atmosphere fills the auditorium; this is the seniors’ last performance, and for many, the final one of their lives since most students do not continue music after high school.

Overcoming the challenges of an online band class their freshman year amidst a deadly pandemic, the Class of 2024 emerged victorious over arguably the hardest stretch of their educational lives.

Twenty-four. That’s the number of seniors graduating from the Wilsonville High School band and orchestra program this year. Those 24 individuals grew as musicians and humans for four years in high school, and director Chad Davies has been there through it all.

Davies has the rare experience of having his students four years in a row. During the final concert, Davies explained to a tearful audience that he’d witnessed the growth of his students as humans in our music program. 

Each senior has their own story to tell. Still, one common theme rang true: Beyond music accomplishments, the Wilsonville music program develops students who can apply their leadership and work ethic (both of which are crucial to musical success) to their everyday lives; all under strong and focused guidance from both Chad Davies and choir director Karen Bohart.

Caleb Green performs an outstanding solo during the jazz band’s performance at the final concert of the school year. His contributions to Wilsonville Music will impact generations of music students to come. Photo provided by Kevin Bruce.

Studying Music, Theology, and Economics at California Baptist University, Green feels more confident going into college, knowing how the music skills he developed translate to the rest of his life: “As [Davies] pushed me in music, it’s helped me apply that principle to my everyday life… it’s not so much that he’s teaching [us] how to get better at music, he’s teaching us how to get better in life.” 

Senior Tyler Tadema will attend Portland State University in the fall, majoring in Music Education. As an accomplished musician involved in the orchestra as a cellist and Soul’d Out as a bass voice, Tadema has much experience to take with him to the collegiate level.

So, what skills does music teach that build these students who excel beyond their musical capabilities?

Leadership. From that, flows everything else that students in music need to be successful at everything else they do.

Tadema explained how he believes Davies’ drive to build student leadership in his classrooms will translate with him heading into college, “[Davies] showed me that student leadership is very powerful. He puts a lot of emphasis on that and… that’s something I’m going to carry with me… because it strengthen[s] the group.”

Caleb Green affirmed this statement by communicating, “Without leadership, it doesn’t matter how good of a musician

you are – you cannot succeed.”

In a music setting, leadership builds community within the ensemble and develops one’s individual musicianship. Through Tadema and Green, Davies’ philosophy has proven that students will eventually apply their musical leadership experience to the rest of their academic and extracurricular activities.

Both Tadema and Green will be continuing their musical careers beyond high school. But for those who aren’t, the WVHS music program has still been a positive community with memories of shared experiences that will last a lifetime.

Violinist Michele Bashoury, a senior who will attend the University of Oregon for Chemistry, described herself as, “Passionate about [music],” but not as invested as some of her peers like Tadema and Green.

Bashoury had nothing but praising words for the music program, sharing that orchestra has been a “positive experience,” expanding her neurological capabilities beyond the orchestra classroom: “[Music] can still grow your mind.” In Bashoury’s case, her experience proves that music still has profound impacts, even with less investment from the student.

Tyler Tadema shakes hands with orchestra director Chad Davies after he won the “Best Musician” award for chamber orchestra. Tadema’s passion for music has only grown over the past four years, with an emphasis put on leadership skills in the orchestra classroom. Photo provided by Kevin Bruce.

With the final cut-off gesture from Davies after the final song was performed, Bashoury reflected on the emotions that were felt following the moving performance: “I was sad… it didn’t hit me until the very last song.”

For Caleb Green, a multi-instrumentalist in the jazz band, symphonic band, both concert bands, symphony orchestra, and symphonic choir, the final concert left him with nostalgia, “It was beautiful, it was horrible, it was sad, it was the best day ever. [The emotions] were wide-ranging.”

Describing the concert as a “culmination of the last four years in a perfect night of music and emotion,” it was the ideal ending to an elusive and impressive high school music career for Green: “It was all I wanted from a final concert.”

A powerful concert left a powerful message for the graduating seniors in Wilsonville’s music program. For the final performance, an arrangement of The Lord of the Rings by Howard Shore (arr. John Whitney) was performed by the combined band and orchestra program. Although not sung, the final minute of the piece includes lyrics from “In Dreams” that perfectly encapsulate the atmosphere and emotions felt by Davies, the students, and everyone in the audience:

When the cold of Winter comes
Starless night will cover day
In the veiling of the sun
We will walk in bitter rain


But in dreams
I still hear your name
And in dreams
We will meet again

Through their instruments, each musician on stage narrated a unified story with expressive musicianship, wishing their seniors the best in their future endeavors.

Beyond individual accomplishments, the Class of 2024 tells a story like no other. Although an emotional time for many, Wilsonville’s graduating seniors can look back and be satisfied. 

There’s comfort in knowing the music program’s impact on their lives, but most importantly, the influence their passion, dedication, and leadership will have on Wilsonville Music for years to come.

The 24 graduating seniors stand at the front of the stage to receive recognition for their dedicated commitment to music. Each student’s accomplishments depict an illustrative story about the power of music. Photo provided by Kevin Bruce.