Joy to the theater


Lauren Montano

Under the direction of Mr. Olariu the Jazz Band performs at the Downey Civic Theater on, Dec. 12, for the Winter Concert put on by the music department. The Jazz Band drew cheers from family and friends with various Christmas songs and renditions.

Joey Flores , News Editor

On Wednesday, Dec. 12, the music program held their annual Winter Concert at the Downey Civic Theater to get into the festive spirit for the upcoming holidays. The program featured the Concert Band, Jazz Band, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Choir, Advanced Choir, and Beginning Choir.


Concert Band member Ashley Clemens,10, is a part of the Jazz Band, which was the group that started off the night in a festive mood by performing the upbeat Christmas carol “Joy to the World.” The trumpets led the well-known chorus of the song, supported by the counter melody of the other instruments. The night also included the band’s cover of Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas is You,” which showed that the band successfully worked towards a smooth flow and even caused an impromptu sing-along by several audience members.


“It’s a little more nerve-wrecking because we’re playing in front of an actual, large audience,” Clemens said. “As opposed to marching band, it looks a little more intimidating when in concert because we’re in a confined theater, not a large open field.”


There was also a performance of the popular theme song to the Charlie Brown cartoons by the Jazz Choir.


“When we practiced [the Charlie Brown song], we had to warm up a lot because of all the vocal work in some of the songs,” Megan Gomez, 10, said. “Like during one of our songs, there are like no lyrics. It’s a lot of fun.”


When the theme song was performed, the realization of what it was spread across numerous audience members who accompanied the song with their subtle toe-tapping. Directed by Corneliu Olariu, the Jazz Choir attended sectionals, or musical practice, after school. In sectionals, they practiced not only their music, but their vocal style and vocal control as well.


Tired faces from the performers came from the large amount of time invested in readying for the performances. This preparation was done by not only the performers, but the music directors as well.


“One of the hardest parts was making sure that they [band members] showed up for practice,” music director Matthew Fell said. “Not only that, but we were on a very limited time schedule, so we had at least three rehearsals.”


The music program’s preparation and dedication to performing as best as they could boosted their confidence, which helped them give a better overall performance. This led to a night of joyous Christmas tunes that brought smiles to the faces of numerous audience members.