The Paw Print

Fall Jazz Band and Orchestra

Emily Chang, Staff Writer

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 The lights dimmed in the West Ranch Theater. Voices hushed. A blanket of anticipation settled over the audience. Suddenly, the curtains rose and, in the blink of an eye, I was transported from a high school theater to a new world of soulful melodies.

 The Fall Orchestra and Jazz Concert took place on Oct. 25, an annual event the students at Rancho Pico look forward to attending. It is an opportunity for the students at Rancho Pico to see a preview of what is in store for them in the next few years if they choose to continue with band in high school. The evening started off with a special feature from the Rancho Pico Orchestra. A crowd favorite included “The Haunted Carousel,” by Soon Hee Newbold.

 Next, the Chamber Orchestra took the stage. They began with “Magic Flute Overture,” by W.A Mozart, arranged by Robert McCashin. The music began softly, slowly growing in intensity as the song went on. By the time Mr. Marshall, their instructor, had his conductor wand in the air and the music ended, I was sitting on the edge of my seat. The final song for Chamber Orchestra was undoubtedly the hit of the night. A medley of all the songs by Justin Hurwitz from “La La Land,”  swept the audience away into all the different emotions of the iconic city of stars. A special solo in “Mia and Sebastian’s Theme,” was executed perfectly by sophomore Audrey Park. All at once I felt joy, remorse, and loss, and it’s safe to say everyone else in the room did too.

 Intermission lasted only five minutes, as everyone wanted to get straight into the next arrangement of music. West Ranch Lab Band took the stage. They started out the night with “Do It Again,” by George Gershwin, arranged by Mark Taylor. I couldn’t help but tap my feet with the perfectly in-sync swing notes and jazz-inspired rhythms. Between every song, Jazz Director Brian Leff took the stage and gave a brief history of the upcoming songs. Lab Band finished their performance with Robert Wood’s arrangement “Too Darn Hot” by Cole Porter. Lab Band solos were executed perfectly by trumpet player Charlize Estevez and saxophone players Matthew Serraino and Kevin Gillespie.

 To close off the night, West Ranch Studio A Jazz Band played 5 unique pieces, each from a different musical. They began with “Fascinating Rhythm,” by George Gershwin, arranged by Sammy Nestico. Every blow of a trumpet and beat of a drum had me hooked on the high energy jazz pieces. Studio A Jazz Band finished their performance with an arrangement of “Night and Day,” another piece by Cole Porter, which was a great way to end the night.

 The lights came back on in the West Ranch Theater and I had to blink my eyes a few times to remember where I was. In that moment I had felt what it was like to be utterly transported away from the stress of the world and into a new one where the only thing that mattered was music.

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Fall Jazz Band and Orchestra