First concert in two years makes for special ‘Winter Celebration’

By Peter Day

Lucerne Valley Middle High School’s first concert in two years was sweet music to families who came to enjoy “A Winter Celebration” concert and art exhibit last Friday night in the Sgt. Brian L. Walker Memorial Gymnasium. 

After thanking school principals Kelly Boeing and Nate Lambdin, school staff, district administrators and the support of her husband, LVMHS Music Director Amy James-Forrette took a moment to commend those who made the biggest difference: the families of the performers.
“Thank you families for putting up with their practicing because it turned into awesome music,” she said.

The concert was divided into four sections: music played by the String Orchestra, Advanced Band, High School Choir and Beginning Band.
Violin soloist Zoey Davis was featured in the first number, “A (Very) Short History of Music,” which served as a sampling of various favorites and arranged by Douglas E. Wagner. The Middle School members of the String Orchestra include Evelynn Stafford, Andrew Wakewood, Jose Torres Soto, Kelsie Crossland, Taylor Hanna, and Samantha Joe Whitehall on violin, Hayley Harris on bass, Charlie Rogers and Valeria Ortega on viola, and Cody Blackwell, Irvin Angeles and Patrick Atkins on cello.
Then the High School Strings contingent were featured on “Gaelic Castle” by Soon Hee Newbold. The High School Strings is made up of violinists Zoey Davis, Meilani Nguyen, Jasmine Nguyen, viola players Mario Sierra and Allen McCoy, and cellists Rylee Giles and DuBoise.
The Advanced Band featured four musicians who have played for several years. They are Bradley Bernal on alto saxophone, multi-instrumentalist Connor Rudolph on tuba, Kevin Angeles on trumpet and Mario Sierra adding a special touch on concert bells. The band performed “Funeral March of a Marionette” by Charles Francis Gounod and “Gravity Falls” by Brad Breek and arranged by Amy James-Forrette.
For the third segment, the High School Choir took center stage. The singers took the audience through a range of emotions with Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken” with music by Ruth Elaine Schram, the traditional “Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel,” and Paul Simon’s 1960s classic, “Sound of Silence,” both of the latter songs arranged by Roger Emerson. The High School Choir consists of singers Yomari Calderon, Daphne Demke, Hannah Whitcanack, Savannah Womack, Danielle Norman and Jesus Romero Bautista. Connor Rudolph did a stellar job accompanying the choir on piano, showing a deft touch and awareness. 
Finally, James-Forrette conducted the largest contingent, the Beginning Band, in the “Blue Ribbon March” by Sandy Feldstein and John O’Reily, and “Jester Dance” by Mekel Rogers. 
The Beginning Band members: flute - Emma Nefferdorf, Gabriel Trindle, Alina Tucker, Aiden Parma, Cinthia Surber, and Delilah Diaz; clarinet - Dominic Briceno, Eileensurii Davalos, Itxel Almonte Tellez, Yuccel Rochin Limones, Maria Calderon Andrade, and Lailah Chavez; alto saxophone - Kimberly Luna, Braxton Cervantes, Ivan Valenzuela, Charlize Terletter; trumpet - Hannibal LeAir, Liam Barcelo, Jaxon Murdock, and Keven Luna; trombone - Justin Sakata Fritzler and Syler Frazier; tuba - Truman Luna; percussion - Mario Serra, Cody Blackwell and Ivan Castellon. 
Concert attendees were greeted by a display of colorful artwork created by Lucerne Valley art students under the direction of teacher Derek Franz.