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The Student News Site of Santa Maria High School

The Breeze

The Student News Site of Santa Maria High School

The Breeze

The Student News Site of Santa Maria High School

The Breeze

Mr. VanWie’s Guitar Orchestra Strums Away

On Friday, December 1st, Mr. VanWie held SMHS’ 3rd Annual Winter guitar concert.
Flyers were posted all over campus to advertise for the third annual guitar orchestra performance.
Oswaldo Hernandez-Perez
Flyers were posted all over campus to advertise for the third annual guitar orchestra performance.

This Friday about 300 students, staff, family members, and people from the community experienced an annual performance at the Ethel Pope. Ticket sales begun before thanksgiving break and many tickets had already been sold with a huge turnout expected by Mr. VanWie, “Like I said we’ve been doing this 11 years, we usually get a really good turn out, sizeable, 250 300 350 sometimes, a very receptive audience to our performance.”

During an interview prior to the concert, Mr. VanWie gave some information about the history of this guitar orchestra, “When I started here I started a guitar orchestra that has progressed and gotten better and better and bigger and bigger. There’s 44 performers in the guitar orchestra… and it’s usually anywhere from 35 to.. we’ve almost had 50. Every year we’ve always had two halves, the first half is solos, duets, trios, bands.. just different performances. And then the second half is the guitar orchestra.”

I think that we actually put on one of the best performances of the school and have for years,

— Mr. VanWie

When asked about how he feels about the guitar orchestra, Mr. VanWie made a prominent statement, “I think that we actually put on one of the best performances of the school and have for years, obviously I’m a little bit bias, I feel like I can say that just on the feedback I’ve gotten from administration, positive feedback from other teachers. I hold a pretty high standard for the performers.”

The concert was announced back in mid November with flyers being placed around the school. The auditions started in early November with various auditions, “Generally there’s 25 to 30 auditions, and I only take 12, we only have 10 this year.” says Mr. VanWie.

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This year there wasn’t any choir performances due to there no longer being a course for choir or a club, “We don’t have choir anymore… That would bring in a more of a turn out as well.” When asked on how he feels about there not being a class for choir anymore, Mr. VanWie Responded, “It’s disappointing.. choir was a really good class for me it was based on socialization, kind of almost like a family, people became very family oriented and supported each other.”

The doors of the Ethel pope opened at 6:00 pm. Guests were greeted and asked for their tickets or were also able to buy tickets. Flyers of the events performances were given at the entrance.

One of the flyers that was placed in the 100s building with information advertising the guitar concert.
Photo Credits to Aileen Salto.

At about 6:30 pm the Ethel pope became populated with students, staff, and parents there to support the performers. Shortly after, at around 7:00 pm The lights were dimmed.

Before the Solo performers there was a disclaimer read out to the audience for directions to the restroom and information on proper auditorium manners.

Anika Sanchez and Adriana Pablo reading a disclaimer before the show.

The concert began with a traditional Spanish Folk song, “En Mi Menor” performed by Lucero Ortiz Mendoza

Lucero Ortiz Mendoza performing En Mi Menor.
Photo Credits to Aileen Salto.

Followed by that performance was an oldie, “We Belong Together” by Richie Valens, Performed by Victor M. Jimenez-Anzurez, Jorge Alonso De Jesus, Adriana Pablo-Ramirez, and Jesus Lopez.

Adriana Pablo-Ramirez (Far Left) on guitar, Jorge Alonso De Jesus (Center Left) singing with Jesus Lopez (Right Center), and Victor M. Jimenez (Behind Jesus) on bass.
Photo Credits to Aileen Salto.

For the third performance we had soul classic by Joy Crookes, “Feet Don’t Fail Me Now” by Joy Crookes performed by Christofer A. Raygoza, Candy Patricio Pacheco, and Andre Araiza on drums.

Cristopher Raygoza (Left) on bass and Candy Patricio Pacheco (Center) on the mic.
Photo Credits to Aileen Salto.

Now for one of the most anticipated performances that night, based on the reactions from the audience, we had a new band going as “Insert Band Name Here”. The two songs they performed were Self Titled and Earth Ablaze. With Niri on solo guitar, Jesse with his eerie vocals, Jason on lead guitar, Sean banging on his drums, and Venus Alegre slapping that bass.

Jason Maldonado as lead player and Niri Ortiz as solo player in “Insert Band Name Here”.
Photo credits to Aileen Salto.
Jesse Cabrera on the mic performing Self Titled.
Photo Credits to Aileen Salto.
Venus Alegre (Left) on bass and Sean J. Rea-Owen (Right) on Drums.
Photo credits to Aileen Salto.

Following that outstanding performance we had a couple more Spanish performances. Our first one being Platicame De Ti by Arsenal Effectivo, sang by Jesus Lopez, and Con tus besos by Eslabon Armado sang by Alumni Angel Reyes who was also on a 12 string acoustic guitar. Both performances also had Bernardino Mejia on Back up guitar and Alumni Florencio Mejia joining in on the second song for lead guitar.

Jesus Lopez (center), an Alumni, Angel Reyes, (Left) and Bernardino Mejia. (Right)
Photo Credits to Aileen Salto.

That set was then followed by Alvaro Santana, Jesus Estrada, Leo Fabela, and Javier Gonzalez with great stage energy. This group performed Tatuajes by Joan Sebastian, El Gavilon by Peso Pluma, and La People by Peso Pluma and Tito Double P.

Jesus Estrada (Left), Javier Gonzalez, (Center) on guitar, and Alvaro Santana (Right).
Photo Credits to Aileen Salto.

The group performances then ended with an Eruption. Performed by Freshman Jayden Taboada was a Rock classic guitar solo by Edward Van Halen.

Jayden Taboada Erupting on stage.
Photo Credits to Aileen Salto.

After a short intermission, Mr.VanWie’s Guitar orchestra began to strum away. Starting off with two originals from Mr. VanWie, Solace In G and El Alma Del Musico.

Then followed by Cancion de Maraichi by Los Lobos sang buy Alumni Anthony Mendez . A Rock n’ Roll classic, Hotel California by the Gypsy Kings followed, also sang by Anthony Mendez.

A classical song turned into a fine guitar tune, Habanera (From The Opera Carmen) by Georges Bizet. Then finally ending the set with a tango classic, La Cumparsita by Gerrardo Matos Rodriguez.

This song contained solos played by different students, there was smooth transitions between each unique solo. Interestingly enough, Mr. VanWie himself joins his class and plays the last solo, here’s what Anika Sanchez thought about that; “I think it’s actually pretty good, I think it gives inspiration to other students, it gives other people the opportunity to base their solos off of his.”

Anika herself had a solo in the song and is also the class/club president as of last years guitar club’s election also performing in her fourth guitar concert, “I just like playing solo, I enjoy being able to improvise. I’m a little nervous because sometimes kids mess up and either go too fast or go too slow. This is my fourth one (concert). At first I was kinda hesitant, I didn’t really want to be it, but VanWie wanted me to so I was like fine and you can put me in the ballet and I was voted it” (This interview was taken days prior to the guitar concert.)

I think I did amazing and the whole orchestra did, everybody, all the singers everybody.

— Anika Sanchez

After their amazing performance, the class stood up and took a bow for their supporting audience.

Following the concert, Anika Sanchez stated, “I feel Amazing.. I think I did amazing and the whole orchestra did, everybody, all the singers everybody.”

One member from the band, Insert Band Name Here, Jason Maldonado, had a couple words after the concert, here’s his input, ” I felt good performing up there, I mainly felt bad for the people who had to listen to us. I feel like it was mainly Hispanic parents who wouldn’t like our music.”

A senior at SMHS was later asked about how he felt about the concert, here’s what Melvin Salguero-Maldanado had to say, “The show was pretty good.. Yeah they were great, regardless of whether they were my favorite genre or not, they were still pretty solid.”

Overall, I believe that this guitar concert was an overall success. The turnout was no where near my expectations, the Ethel Pope was filled with people. After every performance there was a supporting round of applauses no matter what genre was playing on stage. I would enjoy writing about this class again, it was truly a treat to see them perform.

 

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About the Contributor
Hey! My name is Oswaldo Hernandez-Perez, but you can call me Waldo. This is my last year at Santa Maria High School as I am now a senior. I enjoy listening to music and filming my friends skating on my free time. I haven't written anything too promising lately, but I am excited to write a lot about our community and school this year. I feel confident that I will be able to contribute to the breeze in a helpful manner. I have experience in filming and I would love to interview people about their thoughts on our community. I am currently taking journalism because I am interested in writing stories and informing others on news and whatnot. I feel honored to be a part of The Breeze this year. I appreciate Mrs. Van D for giving me a third chance to one of her many classes lmao.  
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