Broadway composer John Bucchino conducted a master class with promising student vocalists at Laguna Beach High School earlier this month.
LBHS singers each prepared two of Bucchino’s songs. Under his direction, he rehearsed one of them in front of the audience. Each master-student session culminated with a performance of the chosen song accompanied by Bucchino. The composer closed the program by performing his own work.
“This is the first time I’ve done this with high school students,” said Bucchino, who typically leads master classes at universities. “I was so energized by their enthusiasm and talent, and impressed by the strength of the performing arts program at LBHS and the depth of community support for artistic excellence at this level. As a songwriter and performer, there are few things more gratifying than working with a young artist on one of my compositions and then hearing them bring something new and thrilling to its interpretation.”
Participants included Sarah Busic, Chandler Davis, Elan (E.J.) Kramer, Nicolas Leighton, Jackson Tupy, Haley Castuera, Karina Parker, and Makenna Zur Schmiede, all cast members in “The Sound of Music,” the recently concluded spring musical.
The master class was made possible by a $4,000 grant from the Festival of Arts Foundation, said the school’s musical director, Roxanna Ward.