The Dynamic Duo

Angelica Fregroso and Dianna Jimenez


Between juggling school work from advanced placement classes and planning for their futures, juniors Brian Castro and Matthew Valencia enjoy spending their free time together composing epic music and filming comedies.


As fate may have it, this dynamic duo met freshmen year in their history class– AP Human Geography. Besides becoming erudite about various cultures and how they interact with the environment, the two pupils interacted with one another through rather idiosyncratic methods.


“Matthew was being really weird in class and I was being really weird in class,” Castro said, “then we both noticed that we were both being really weird.”


Once they realized how analogous their interests were, the two bonded over the ones they shared– their love for music and passion for filmmaking being prominent among the rest.


“I learned how to play the clarinet in 6th grade,” Castro said, “right now I’m learning to play the piano and guitar but I haven’t mastered any.”


Formerly a member of Downey High’s band, Valencia decided to focus his energy on pursuing his passion of performing jazz music in the school’s jazz band.


“Basically I can play all the instruments that they have at school and I lost count at 40,” Valencia said. “I play a lot of saxophones, clarinets, and flutes.”


Their love for film-making began in AP Human Geography, where they were assigned to create skits for the class; from that point forward, those skits soon evolved into full-length films. Along with the creation of their eccentric films, came music– the use of classical instruments, including piano, with contemporary beats they make. Converging both arts together, they plan to concoct a new film during spring break. Although they have no clue what the movie’s plot will focus on, they are positive that once they convene, ideas will sprout spontaneously.


“We are literally going to think of the idea on the day of filming,” Castro said, “maybe even as we’re filming.”


Both Castro and Valencia have distinct inspirations that they attribute their works to.

Castro is influenced by Argentinian conductor Gustavo Dudamel because he views Dudamel as the first well-known prominent hispanic conductor and violinist. Valencia is inspired by his older brother, who also has the aptitude for music, and his three formative saxophone teachers.


Yanni Ramirez, 11, a mutual friend of Valencia and Castro, was also a part of the same AP Human Geography class freshman year. Ramirez witnessed the advent of Valencia and Castro’s developing friendship as the three enjoyed each others’ uncanny dispositions.


“What strikes me about their friendship is how they’re able to lampoon topics and make them enjoyable,” Ramirez says.


In the future, Castro hopes to major in business and Valencia in music in order to open their very own music label and do what they love for a living. With similar boisterous personalities, they both believe that working together is sublime.


“We’re very similar; we both like screaming a lot,” Valencia said.

“It’s the unrestricted weirdness,” Castro said.


Like every adolescent that is realizing the end of highschool is inevitable and adulthood draws closer by the sunrise of each waking day, various uncertainties come to light, but for these two individuals a constant remains guaranteed— their friendship.