Students Put on A Show

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Editor,

Monday’s (June 6) premier performance of 170 fourth and fifth grade orchestra and band students joined with Laguna’s Community Concert Band in presenting an inspirational musical program, ending with a finale played by all three groups together.

It was a spectacular presentation of the music of “Star Wars” combined with a video presentation put together by Steve Baker and conducted by maestros Cyrus Hwang, string students, Rich Hartford, band students, and Ed Peterson of Laguna Community Concert Band.

The audience of more than 300 parents and grandparents listened intently and applauded enthusiastically while their children played six folk songs with the stringed instruments or seven with the band instruments.

The beginning of an honor fifth grade band was put together by Mr. Hartford, who had a select group of children come to the front and play their instruments perfectly.

The entire evening was a joy to behold. As Mr. Peterson said, “music is a life-long pleasure,” emphasized by his band members, the majority of whom raised their hands when asked how many had started playing when they were in elementary school. All were now in a variety of professions including teachers of music but come one night a week to play and be a part of the community band.

The entire project was put together by Laguna resident and band trustee Jennifer Baker, who teaches music in the Capistrano Unified School District. She also professionally arranged and simplified the “Star Wars” music for the elementary children.

A big thank-you to the Laguna Beach Unified School Board, the district administration, the principals and teachers, who have been consistently expanding the instrumental music offerings to all of our students. And a most grateful thanks to our California State Legislature, which last year reclassified school music as a core subject to be taught by credentialed teachers. That is real “Star Wars” legislation!

Carol Reynolds, Laguna Beach

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