With high school seniors signing, sunsetting, and spring sports seasons completed, another clear indication of the end of the academic year came this past Thursday, May 17, when the Riverbank Unified School District presented its Fine Arts Concert.
The evening event was staged at the Ray Fauria Memorial Gymnasium on the high school campus and featured eight performing units of the district’s Kindergarten through 12th grade schools.
As the program began, emcee and RHS band teacher Joey Aguilar told the near standing room only audience that when he came to the district, five years ago, he had roughly just a dozen students playing various instruments, and they were in the high school band. It didn’t even cover all the parts for their performance.
This year, he said, the room was filled with nearly 200 musicians, attending the schools throughout the district.
And he thanked the school board for its support of the music programs, with the recent inclusion of uniforms and instruments for the RHS Bruin Marching Band.
That unit, along with its accompanying Colorguard, kicked off the concert with a piece titled ‘Uma Thurman,’ named presumably for the actress.
Next came the California Avenue Elementary Band, under the direction of Mrs. LeeAnn Messer, who also teaches at Mesa Verde Elementary. The California Avenue band played selections from its workbook “Sound Innovations,” as did the Mesa Verde students.
Elementary band students and their parents were disappointed to learn that Mrs. Messer will not be returning next school year, since she and her family are moving to Kansas City, Kansas soon.
The Cardozo Middle School First Flight Band, under the direction of David Howard, was next on the program. They performed “The Sorcerer’s Procession” and two dances from “The Capitol Suite.” Then the Cardozo Eagle Band played “Chant and Celebration” and “Boundary Road March” before the combined middle school musicians performed “Intermediate School Fanfare.”
Aguilar then took the podium and under his baton the high school Bruin Concert Band played “Newcastle March,” and a piece called “Rondo for Solo Clarinet and Wind Band” by Mozart, featuring RUSD staff member Linda Rhoden on the clarinet.
They followed up with “Cajun Folk Songs” and a piece called “I Am the Doctor,” the theme from Doctor Who, the television show.
The program then concluded with all the bands and their conductors filling the gym with the music of a piece called “Shine.”