Jazz bands and a choir will present a free community concert on March 7

Resonate, the Valley Center High School jazz band, performed last year at the Music in the Parks competition in Milpitas, where they won top first place and best overall choir.

The 23rd Annual Jazz & BBQ Benefit Concert will be held Saturday, March 7 at the Maxine Theater, Valley Center High School.

The benefit features Valley Center middle and high school choirs and jazz bands, led by Valley Center Citizens of the Year, Jeff and Laralee Beck. This gig kicks off the bands’ competitive seasons, during which they typically sweep schools across Southern California.

“These students are poised to dominate competitions in Orange, Los Angeles, and San Diego counties, including the prestigious Coronado Jazz Festival. This concert is a chance to see them at their best,” said Rebecca Tanner, President of the VC/P Music Boosters. “This free concert is the only time the community can see all of these bands together, featuring traditional jazz, swing and big band music, both instrumental and vocal.”

It is also a fundraiser for the Valley Center/Pauma school music programs. The BBQ, hosted by the Valley Center/Pauma Music Boosters, starts at noon with their popular burgers, hot dogs, snacks and desserts. There will be a raffle for a variety of quality baskets, as well as the opportunity to sponsor new music for future performances. Choose your favorite song! The concert starts at 1 p.m., doors open at noon. Arrive early to get a good seat and lunch.

Choir director Laralee Beck says the choirs have been preparing their next competition pieces. The VCHS Women’s Choir will perform jazz standards “I do not know why” with soloists Riley Rakestraw and Avellaka Majel, “A-Tisket, A-Task” with a solo by Bella Mazzetti. The VCHS Advanced Choir will perform classic competition pieces, “Hallelujah, Amen” of the oratory “Judas Maccabee”, “Erev Shel Shoshanim” (an Israeli love song sung in Hebrew), and the spiritual tradition “Soon I’ll be finished” with a solo by Izabella Ventura. The VCHS Jazz Choir “Resonate” will perform jazz standards “Frim Fram Sauce” and “Tuxedo Junction” with solos by Brendan Beck, Ally Gerchufsky, Matthew Gerchufsky, Michael Yarush, Ben Wodarczyk and Guadalupe Huerta.

The group’s manager, Jeff Beck, said the groups would also feature great solos. The Middle School Jazz Band will perform “Charade” with solos by Riley Carlson (trombone), Michael Mitchel (vibes) and Julian Rodriguez (drums). “Makin’ Whoopee” will feature soloists Brian Contreras (bass trombone) and Ella Weed (trumpet). To conclude, Nathanieljohn Cabrera (bass), Trevor Newman (tenor sax), Gavin Lopez (trumpet), Nathan McDermott (baritone sax) and Antonio Avelar (drums) all go solo in “City Slicker.

The High School Jazz Band will open with Opus De Funk, featuring soloist Lucas Rizzotto on alto sax. “Nice N easy” comes next with solos by Michael Yarush (baritone sax), Brendan Beck (flugelhorn) and Gavin Hasinsky (flute). Brendan Beck will take the vocals “Moon Dance,” supported by solos by Mitchel Peyton (alto sax), Gavin Hasinsky and Joel Centeno (soprano sax).

The event serves to thank the community for their continued support. Students share what they do best: perform great music.

The Maxine Theater is located at Valley Center High School, 31322 Cole Grade Rd. in Valley Center. This event is a key fundraiser for music programs, which are supported by the volunteer organization Booster. The Valley Center / Pauma Music Boosters is a 501c3 non-profit organization that, through community and volunteer support, provides a budget for all extras that support Valley Center schools’ music programs.

Boosters help ensure the continuity of schools’ extensive music programs, offered at minimal cost to students. This organization helps fund bus rides, provides and maintains instruments, music clinicians, and support for uniforms and performance clothing for nearly 800 orchestra and choir students at five area schools. for more information contact VCMusicBoosters@gmail.com. Tax-deductible donations are always welcome and appreciated at PO Box 841, Valley Center, CA 92082.

Ada J. Kenney