Colton High Band celebrates the music of the United Kingdom in Fall Concert

High School is joined by special guests from Colton Middle School’s Advanced Band


J. Dollins

The Colton High Band breaks into “Marching Song,” their second of three performances during this year’s Fall Concert.

Grand Terrace, CA—With the Whitmer Auditorium under construction, the Colton High Band held their Fall Concert on October 20, 2021 at the Grand Terrace High School theater. They were joined by the Colton Middle School Advanced Band for a program featuring popular classical songs from the United Kingdom.

The bands played to a packed house of parents and supporters, who were stoked to listen to exciting renditions of “Soldier, Soldier” and “Irish June from County Derry” by the Colton Middle Band, and John Moss’ “Highland Legend,” featuring the CHS trumpet and clarinet sections, “Marching Song,” and “Celtic Farewell” featuring Stephanie Perez on flute, Diane Orozco on Alto Sax, and Victor Vasquez and Aleczander Aguayo on drums.

CHS Band Director, Kenneth Taber was pumped up after the performance. “Exhilaration. Unbelievable feeling. Adrenaline high,” he said. “Nothing like a live performance.”

This excitement carried over to the students as well.

Aleczander Aguayo, leader of the percussion section, said, “I’m ecstatic doing it all again—just performing in front of all the parents, that’s the best part about it. Because the parents get to come and see their kids perform instead of just waiting to pull them out of practice.”

Senior clarinet player Brooke Carlson agreed: “I loved it so much,” she exclaimed, “and I’m just so glad everyone had fun!”

Others, like typical musicians, fixated on what went wrong.

Ellis Wright, sophomore alto saxophone player, was quick to point out “a few mess ups, of course—you always mess up.” Then he was quick to add about his first high school performance, “But it went well.”

Despite everything going remarkably well for Colton’s first show in two years, senior clarinet player Arturo Morelos had a challenging moment on stage. “My reed decided to chip in mid-performance, so I squeaked on like two notes.” Overall, the performance was outstanding for him, too. “It was a little nerve-wracking,” he shared.

For seniors like Arturo, this was their first live performance since their sophomore years, so the emotions were tuned high, and it showed in their music, especially on the emphatic “Highland Legend.” The middle switch to 6/8 time was executed flawlessly by the orchestra, and earned a rousing ovation.

After the show, a lot of the band buzzed about the performance by Colton Middle’s students and their potential upon joining Colton High’s band next year. Taber, in particular, was impressed. “They have a great director, and I thought they really showed out tonight. Especially their trumpet player. She just killed it, and she’s an eighth grader.”

Caitlin Curran, who has been Colton Middle’s band director for the past nine years, was equally excited about her students’ performance. “They worked really hard, and they showed a lot of maturity in their playing today, so I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

Curran provided one of the evening’s highlights when introducing the traditional selection “Soldier, Soldier.” The audience roared when she revealed the story of the song, which has quite the twist ending.

The night, two years in the making, turned out better than could be hoped.