2019 DHS Concerto Competition Information

2019 DHS Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition
Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 7:00 P.M.
DHS Richard Brunelle Performance Hall


What is it?

The DHS concerto competition is an annual event held early every Winter Semester to choose one student musician at DHS who will perform with the DHS Symphony Orchestra and receive a $500 award.  The winner will have the opportunity to play his or her piece with the DHS Symphony Orchestra in Concert—TBA.

Click here to see profiles of past winners.

What music should be played for the competition?

  • The competition piece should be a movement from a concerto.
  • It is required that the contestants memorize their piece for both the competition and the final performance.
  • The competition is a recital format.
  • Note: The musicians should provide their own accompanists and two copies of the music for the judges.

Who may compete?

  • The competition is open to the entire DHS student population.
  • A musician who won this competition in a previous year may not compete again. 

What instrument may competitors play?

  • Competitors may play any appropriate instrument for which concertos are written.

When and where is the competition being held?

  • This year’s competition will be held This year’s competition will be held Wednesday, January 23, 2019 at 7:00 P.M. DHS Richard Brunelle Performance Hall. It is open to the public, free admission.

When does the winner perform with the Orchestra?

  • The winner will perform with the Orchestra at a public concert decided upon by the director.
  • Performances in the past have been featured at the end of the year Finale Concert and the Wennberg Concert held at the Mondavi Center, DHS Symphony Kids Outreach Concerts, and Carnegie Hall, NY.

Who will judge the competition?

  • The judges will be professional musicians who are familiar with orchestral performance and the expected level of the winner.

Who will be in the audience for the competition?

  • The competition will be open to the public so invite your family and friends. There will be two adjudicators seated in the back of the room along with Mr. Moreno.

How do I sign up for the Concerto Competition and what information do I need to provide?

  • Mr. Moreno has a sign up sheet posted in PA-3 on the computer lab window. Deadline to sign up is
    Friday, November 16, 2018.
  • To apply to the competition, you need to provide the following:
    • The name of your piece, the movement, and the composer
    • The approximate length of your piece
    • The instrument you will play
    • Whether two pianos will be needed
  • You must also send Mr. Moreno an email at amoreno@djusd.net with following information:
    • Your Name (first and last)
    • Instrument
    • Name of Solo and Composer
    • Total Time of Solo

Are there any further requirements?

  • The night of the competition all performers will be required to provide two (2) copies of their music for the adjudicators.
  • Appropriate concert dress for the concerto competition performance is required. Suggest “Concert Black.”

You can view and download a PDF of this information here.



I encourage you get the ‘Cleartune’ app, and set it to A=415 – ‘Violin Family’. Use Cleartune to tune-up whenever you practice. It is important to practice tuning so you can quickly tune accurately, and to learn to manipulate the pegs efficiently. After your first string is in-tune, try tuning the other strings by ear – and only then check Cleartune to see how accurate you are – adjust as necessary.

FRANCE – 17th century

In the 17th century, music played an important part at the French royal court. The first permanent string orchestra in France, called ‘The Twenty-four ordinary violins of the King’, was established in 1618, and played for royal balls, celebrations, and official ceremonies. In the families of the nobles, and the wealthy, children were taught to sing and to play musical instruments, such as harp, violin, viola da gamba, flute, guitar, and harpsichord, either in the convent schools, or at home with private tutors.

In 1647, Lully was brought to Paris from his native Florence to be in the service of the French court. Under Lully, music became not simply entertainment, but an expression of royal majesty and power.
The young Louis XIV was an avid dancer and participant in ballet. Ballet was commonly practiced by young nobles, along with fencing and horsemanship. Only men danced, except in ballets given by the ladies of the Queen. Louis practiced several hours a day, and made his first ballet appearance in the Ballet de Cassandre at the age of thirteen. In 1653, Louis was featured in the Ballet Royal de la Nuit by Lully. This court ballet lasted 12 hours, from sundown until sunrise, and consisted of 45 dances. Louis appeared in five of them, the most famous of which saw the young king in the role of Apollo – the Sun King – a title he subsequently adopted for himself.

During 1660’s, Lully collaborated with the playwright Moliere to produce comedie-ballet which combined theater, comedy, incidental music, and ballet – such as Le bourgeois Gentilhomme, and also wrote incidental music for plays by Moliere. Lully initiated his own tragédie en musique with the opera Cadmus et Hermione, in 1673.

The most popular gathering place for street musicians and singers, as well as clowns, acrobats, and poets, in Paris was the Pont Neuf. All the carriages of the aristocracy and the wealthy crossed the bridge, and since it was the only bridge not lined by houses, there was room for a large audience. Listeners could hear comical songs about current events, romantic poems set to music, and the latest melodies by Lully


Louis Couperin, 1626-1661. Organist, harpsichordist, and keyboard composer.

Monsieur Sainte Colombe,1640-1700. Viola da Gamba player and composer (featured in the movie: Tous les matins du monde).

Jean-Baptiste Lully, 1632-1687. Composer to the French court of Louis XIV.

Marc-Antoine Charpentier 1643-1704, Composer and organist.

– Richard Webb 10-19-18

Coda Honors Symphony and String Orchestra Members 2018-19

Congratulations to the Following Davis High and Holmes Junior High Orchestra students who will be representing our orchestra programs at the state level! Bravo to all of you for your hard work. You will surely learn a lot that weekend and meet some wonderfully talented musicians from all over the state.

Coda Honors String Orchestra:

  •  Second Violin: David Zhang Holmes Junior High School

 Coda Honors Symphony Orchestra:

  • First Violin: Kaoruko Hayashi- Holmes Junior High School
  • First Violin: Sue Bin Park- Davis Senior High School
  • Viola: Antony Zhao – Davis Senior High School
  • Cello: Jessica Li – Davis Senior High School

The CODA High School Honor String Orchestra:

  • Rehearsals and performance will take place at November 30-December 1, 2018; University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA.
  • Conductor-Toru Tagawa

CODA High School Honor Symphony Orchestra:

  • Rehearsals and performance will take place at November 30-December 1, 2018; University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA.
  • Conductor- Dr. Nicolas Waldvogel

BEEP Quiz 1

1. Name the first Italian opera (note – it is frequently performed in modern times).

  • Who composed it?
  • Where and when was it first performed?
  •  Provide a synopsis of the opera.

2. Research the life of the artist Artemisia Gentileschi, and write a brief biography.

3. Arcangelo Corelli wrote pieces principally for which combination(s) of instruments?

  • Name two of Corelli’s students.

4. Briefly describe three of the following movies:

  •  England my England, 1995
  •  Stage Beauty, 2004
  •  Admiral de Ruyter, 2015
  • Girl with the Pearl Earring, 2003
  • Tous Les Matins Du Monde, 1991
  • A Little Chaos, 2014

5. The basic form of the Violin family of instruments was established where, and when?

  • Name, and describe, the other ‘V’ family of European bowed string instruments contemporary with the establishment of the violin.
  • Describe the differences between the two types of instrument.

6. All strings used on European bowed instruments were originally made of plain animal gut. 

  • Where and when were the first metal-wire covered gut strings used, and why (physics)?
  • All-metal strings for violin family instruments date from…?

7. Describe ‘Guiana sea-pirate wood.’ 

  • By what name is the wood better known?
  • What, in your possession, is made of this wood?

8. Describe the instruments in this painting by Evaristo Baschenis.

  • When and where was the painting painted?

– Richard Webb


ITALY – 18th century

Tomaso Giovanni Albinoni (1671-1751), Venice. Composer of opera & instrumental music.

Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1751), Venice, Mantua, Vienna. Violinist, composer, & teacher.
Cadenza composed by Vivaldi, one of the few that survive in manuscript:

Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757), Naples, Lisbon, & Madrid. Keyboard composer.

Francesco Saverio Geminiani (1687-1762),  Lucca, Naples, & London. Violinist, composer, & music theorist.
Cello sonatas recorded 45 years ago:

Pietro Antonio Locatelli (1695-1764), Bergamo, Rome, &  Amsterdam. Violinist & composer.

Origins of the Violin Family

Since the 13th century, and before, there had been a great variety of bowed string instruments of various shapes, sizes, and number of strings used in Europe. In northern Italy, in the latter part of the 16th century, the basic form of the violin family of instruments was established. The instrument we recognize as a ‘violin’ originates in N Italy c.1540, and the ‘viola/lira da braccio’ a little earlier. The bass violin followed shortly after (the smaller ‘violoncello’ was first made c.1700). The double bass has always been a hybrid of a viol (a contemporary cousin of the violin, typically with 6 strings and played between the legs) and a violin shaped instrument with 3,4,5,or 6 strings depending on the country of origin, and the type of music it played. In 1556, the French musician, Philibert Jambe de Fer, was the first to describe the instrument we know as the ‘violin’. The basic shape of the violin has changed very little since that time.

Iconography of Precursors of the Violin Family: 13th century – c.1600

Vielle Player, Codex, Cantigas e Santa Maria, c.1250.

Lion Playing a Vielle, Breviary, Renaud de Bar, France,1300

Madonna of the Orange Trees, (detail), Gaudenzio Ferrari, 1530.  

Angels Playing Bass Violin, Lira da Braccio, & Violin, Gaudenzino Ferrari,1536.

The Wedding at Cana, (detail), Paolo Veronese, Venice,1563.
Two tenor viola da gamba players (played in the lap rather than between the knees), a bass viol player, and a violinist. The painting has over 100 figures and is 32 feet wide.

Iconography of the Violin Family: c.1600 – 1665

During much of the baroque period, and before, the only strings available were made of sheep gut. In 1665 silver wire covered gut strings were invented in Bologna, Italy – initially for the bottom string of bass violins, but did not come into more general use until the late 17th/early18th century. All metal strings did not come into use until 1920’s, and their use was not widespread until 1950/60’s.

Young Woman Playing a Violin, Orazio Gentilischi, Rome,1612.

Still Life with Ball & Violin, Pieter Claesz, Flemish/Dutch,1628.
The violin in the late 16th century would have looked very similar to the violin depicted in this painting. It has all gut strings, a short straight neck, and maple fingerboard and tailpiece.

Strumenti musicali, Evaristo Baschenis, Bergamo, Italy, 1665.

Baroque Violin Bow
Before the introduction of the tropical hardwood *Snakewood from colonial S. America in the 17th century, various European hardwoods had been used to make bows, e.g. maple, cherry, acacia, pearwood, boxwood. Until the early 18th century the baroque violin bow typically had a **clip-in frog. The more recognizable screw frog then gradually came into use.
*Snakewood – Piratinera Guianensis – (translation from Latin: Guiana sea-pirate wood) weighs 76 pounds a cubic foot, and has a specific         gravity of 1.20 – so it sinks in water.
** clip-in frog: 


–Richard Webb