IMPERIAL — Nearly sixty students, freshman to senior, from Imperial High School filled the stage Monday evening, March 23, at the Frank Wright Multipurpose Room to play a program of ten pieces of music by composers ranging from Bob Marley “I Shot the Sherriff” to Antonin Dvorak’s “Going Home” from the “New World Symphony.”
The evening opened with “Walk Don’t Run” composed by Johnny Smith and closed with “Dust in the Wind,” a melancholic piece made famous by Kansas in the 1970’s. The piece featured a young ninth-grade musician, Astrid Ruelas, in her first year of studies in the United States. Ruelas played a haunting violin solo with the entire guitar ensemble accompanying her.
Ruelas studied at Entro Estatal de las Artes –CEART, Center for Fine Arts in Mexicali and performed in their concerts. Scott has encouraged her to join him at a few of the Imperial Valley Symphony concert rehearsals, hoping she might consider joining.
“It went very well,“ Guitarist Calvin Calderon, a junior, said. The evening perhaps began with guarded plucking, but the musicians quickly gained confidence with each piece.
Scott adroitly directed the melody as it moved from one side of the stage to another in a unique arrangement of Beethoven’s “Fur Elise” with a Spanish air to it. The music danced lively in “Brown-Eyed Girl” and “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” The tap of hands to the guitars added percussion to “Stand by Me.”
“I am thrilled that the high school has this kind of elective. Music is such a catalyst for learning,” I.H.S. Superintendent Madeline Willis said, who attended the concert with her husband.
Mia Jaquez was present with her father to hear her older brother Ethan Jaquez play. “He is teaching me some, and I have been teaching myself to play my own guitar,” Mia said. She hopes to become one of Mr. Scott’s students one day.
Music teacher, George Scott, is rightly proud of his students who have now successfully completed two of their three concerts of the year. The first, a Christmas performance, began the series and will end with a spring concert.