The Music Department at Riverbank High School had a busy time this past week, with the performance of its 10th Annual Winter Concert on Thursday, Dec. 8 followed by preparations for the city’s Christmas Parade that was held on Saturday, Dec. 10.
Their participation in the parade ended up being called off, though, likely as a result of the steady rain all day.
Inside, however, under the baton of Director Joey Aguilar, three of the student bands played a number of seasonal music pieces, in the Bruin Gym on the RHS campus during the Dec. 8 concert. The Beginner Band started off the program with three pieces, “Star Chase,” “Up on the Housetop,” and “Jingle Bell Jam.”
The Jazz Band took over next, with arrangements of “Ye Jazzy Gentlemen,” and “Sleigh Ride.” The Jazz Band is new to the school’s music program this year, Aguilar said. Members of it also performed with the Advanced Band.
The final section included “Tis the Season,” “Patapan,” based on a French carol, and “A Christmas Tale (Beware of Krampus).”
The tale featured RHS Drama Teacher John Thiel, acting as narrator.
The Jazz Band was created by Aguilar during Bruin Time.
Aguilar explained that “Bruin Time is an enrichment period that was built into the high school schedule to allow students to either make up work they are missing or to get extra help with assignments or offer classes like Jazz Band so students can participate in activities not offered in the regular day schedule.”
Currently there are 12 students in the band and Aguilar has hopes that it will grow. He noted that they are all doing well learning a new style of music.
“The attendance was better than the last concert from 2019 but I feel like there could have been a larger audience,” said Aguilar of the Dec. 8 show. “The students did well for the most part. They were pretty nervous overall but they played well and got their first real performance of the year behind them.”
The evening concluded with the Advanced Band performing “Brazilian Sleigh Bells.”
News Reporter Virginia Still contributed to this story.