Valencia’s jazz and symphony group present a Halloween special, against all odds – Valencia Voice
The Valencia Symphony and Jazz Group held a Halloween concert on October 28 at the Eastern Campus, despite inclement weather conditions that forced the outdoor event to relocate to the building’s group hall. 3.
The concert was a two-part event with the Symphonic Band playing a 30 minute set at 12:30 p.m. and the Jazz Band playing their set at 1:30 p.m.
The Symphonic Band was led by Valencia Band Director Jon Territo and performed a variety of Halloween-themed music including Grant Michel’s “Ghost Run”, Frank Ticheli’s “Abracadabra” and a variety of Disney classics. The group ended with “The Anguish of Nosferatu”, a tribute to the dark vampire Dracula.
Some of the musicians were dressed in their Halloween costumes as they performed.
Jazz Band Director and Professor Frank Wosar have conducted a series of classical music such as “Isn’t She Lovely” by Stevie Wonder and “The Flight of the Foo Bird” by Neil Hepti. The students played with separate solos throughout the performance.
Valencia student and tenor saxophonist W. Jeremy D’Aguiar, pursuing an associate’s degree in sound and production, was one of the jazz group’s soloists. He has been playing the saxophone for almost seven years, but this is his first year with Valence. D’Aguiar explained how difficult it is to be a student musician virtually. “It was absolutely not great at all,” D’Aguiar said. “I’m not a – I already have a hard time budgeting for time. It was not good. “
During an intermission, photos were taken, where the students expressed their joy at being back on campus.
The event was free for all students and staff, but the capacity level dropped significantly as the weather conditions deteriorated. This forced the event indoors and only allowed a maximum of 10 people to enjoy the show in accordance with COVID-19 social distancing guidelines. Although the audience was smaller than expected on the original outdoor venue, the student musicians were still thrilled to perform in front of a live audience.
Valencia student and general studies student Joseph Bravo, disguised as Handy Manny from Disney Junior, first played trombone with the Valencia Symphonic Band. He said “I enjoyed it and it was good to be back on the concert scene.” Since graduating from high school two years ago, he hasn’t played in front of anyone until today. “I graduated and stuff, and then the pandemic hit… it was the first time since then that there was a possibility for a concert audience.”
Bravo look forward to playing more with Valencia in the future. Bravo mentioned that “we have another concert in November” and all students are invited. Bravo has been playing the trombone for almost 10 years and plans to focus his studies on music production.
The atmosphere was welcoming, even at a small capacity. The public were engaged and stuck with the Valencia groups for the first time since the pandemic. Cookies were served for everyone’s enjoyment. Students are encouraged to follow the groups on Engage for upcoming shows and events.