SOLEDAD — The sounds of two bands and a mariachi group, all under the direction of faculty member Edward Maag, have been filling the halls of Soledad High School.
Students are preparing for March 23, when 22 professional musicians from Monterey County Pops! will travel to Soledad to conduct musical workshops with the band and mariachi classes. Following the two-hour workshops, the students will perform with the Monterey County Pops! in a free community concert at 6:30 p.m.
The concert will showcase the Beginning High School Band, the 26-member Advanced Band and the newly formed 21-member Mariachi, all under the leadership and baton of Maag. They will perform “Dance Celebration” by Robert W. Smith, “Ammerland” by the Dutch composer Jacob de Haan, “Salvation Is Created” by Pavel Chesnokov, “The Great Locomotive Chase” by Robert W. Smith, as well as traditional mariachi selections.
“It’s wonderful to see this musical diversity in our schools,” said Monterey County Pops! Director Carl Christensen. “We are very pleased to make this connection with the Soledad High music program, and we are excited to make this an annual collaboration.”
The bands consist of woodwind, brass and percussion instruments, while the mariachi also includes guitars and violins.
Thursday’s concert will include the Monterey County Pops! performing traditional favorites, such as “Tailgate Ramble,” the Paso Doble “El Gato Montés,” marches by John Philip Sousa, classical music by Saint-Saëns and J.S. Bach, traditional Mexican favorites like “Jarabe Tapatio,” and the popular classic “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
The concert will conclude with a thunderous performance by the combined bands of the glorious “OVERTURE 1812 – FINALE” by Tchaikovsky.
Earlier in the day, the Monterey County Pops! Woodwind Quintet will also visit Ledesma and Franscioni elementary schools to present a demonstration of the woodwind instruments and a narrated version of the classic musical tale for children, “Peter and the Wolf.”
The community is invited to attend the free concert on Thursday, March 23, at 6:30 p.m. at Soledad High School, 425 Gabilan Drive.