HCPA And The University Of St. Thomas Bands Perform Together In Concert

By Dave Bonko


Hmong College Prep Academy’s Honors Band and the University of St. Thomas Symphonic Band recently presented a collaborative evening of holiday, cultural and traditional music.

The concert took place on the University of St. Thomas’s St. Paul campus and featured each group performing single sets. The evening closed with a collaborative performance of two pieces—Leroy Anderson’s holiday classic Sleigh Ride and Dr. Yang Dao’s Sib Pab Ciaj Vaj (When Solidarity Rules the World).

HCPA Band Director Roy Pienaar was very pleased with his group’s performance as well as how the event transpired.

“I’m so genuinely proud of our students! They worked incredibly hard for this opportunity. Dr. Orzolek and the University of St. Thomas were gracious hosts. They even took care of our transportation and each student’s dinner. I can’t thank them enough.”

Mr. Pienaar also commented on how his students were received by the St. Thomas audience.

“The audience was great! I even had parents of the UST college band come up and say they’ve been coming to St. Thomas collaborative concerts for multiple years and this was the best high school band they’ve heard ever! Again, I’m so proud of our students.”

A highlight of the evening took place when the audience acknowledged Hmong community elder Dr. Yang Dao, who in 1968, composed Sib Pab Ciaj Vaj while studying at the University of Paris. “That was a very special moment,” Mr. Pienaar added.

Hmong College Prep Academy is located at 1515 Brewster Street in St. Paul, just southeast of the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Those interested in more information about HCPA programs can call 651-209-8002 or online at hcpak12.org.

Images Courtesy Hmong College Prep Academy – Scenes from Hmong College Prep Academy Honors And The University Of St. Thomas Symphonic Bands’ Recent Concert