By Kimberly K. Fu
Mark Richardson touched lives.
As a Vacaville educator, musician, family man and friend, his impact was huge, loved ones said, and his reach, long.
The beloved Browns Valley Elementary teacher, who retired in 2017 after more than 30 years of service and who headed the local band Strut-A-Various, died suddenly in December. He was 69.
By all accounts, Richardson was a kindhearted, generous man who was sincerely interested in everyone he met — which means no one remained a stranger for long.
Source: Longtime Vacaville teacher, musician remembered – The Vacaville Reporter
By Kimberly K. Fu
Through music and motion Friday morning, Suisun Valley kindergarteners offered their hearts to attendees of their annual Suisun Valley Love Concert, this year at nearby Village 360.
They lifted their cheerful voices and signed song lyrics as they sang, to the delight of loved ones gathered around the stage area.
It was a bright start to the day, with pint-sized youths clad in white T-shirts emblazoned with hand-decorated rainbow-filled hearts. Some youths went the extra mile with heart headbands and rainbow-colored tulle tutus.
And the backdrop — a verdant countryside with a tractor hard at work, all framed by a garland of colorful paper hearts.
Source: Kindergarteners share love through music, sign language – The Vacaville Reporter
By Richard Bammer
Young, earnest singers and musicians, seasonal sounds, pageantry, dancing, theater, handmade costumes, dinner and dessert are the stuff of holiday shows across the country.
And they are among the trappings of the Will C. Wood High annual Sylvan Singers madrigal performances, back this year after being paused in 2020 because of the pandemic.
Sponsored by the WCW Choir Boosters, the Madrigal Dinner 2021 will be held, four shows in all, at the Convenant Community Church, 3870 Alamo Drive, Vacaville.
Like those in years past, the 24th annual event, part of longstanding tradition in Vacaville, is a fundraiser to support music education at the 998 Marshall Road campus.
Source: Sounds of the season: Wood High’s Madrigal is back – The Vacaville Reporter
By Amy Maginnis-Honey
Marshall Matthews spent a few years living in Green Valley and graduating from Fairfield High School.
He returns this month, after spending much of his adult life in the Midwest, as Neil Diamond.
The Vietnam War veteran went on to serve as a police chief.
A psychologist friend, who was an Elvis tribute artist, liked what he heard when Matthews sang along to Elvis tunes on a jukebox.
Source: Fairfield High graduate brings Neil Diamond tribute to Downtown Theatre
By Matt Sieger
Mary Poppins barely got her feet off the ground.
In March the Will C. Wood High pit orchestra had completed just one performance of its spring musical when the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down.
“It was devastating because all this time and effort into this huge performance and we got through this one show and they say we can’t do it anymore,” recalled senior viola player Reagan Cargill. “We had a few weeks or months where we just had no idea what was going on. It was very confusing and stressful.”
Source: Coronavirus: Solano County high school music students miss playing together – The Reporter
By Lonnie Wong
Teachers throughout the state are diving into ways to develop online learning methods. But what can they do when what’s being taught requires interacting with others?
The Sylvan Singers at Will C. Wood High School in Vacaville live for performing on stage, like at last year’s spring concert. But the whole idea is to feed off one another, which is not possible now that classes and rehearsals are canceled.
“We are starting to feel the isolation and the impact of the quarantine for sure,” said Colby Hawkins, the director of choirs for the Vacaville Unified School District.
Source: High school choir in Vacaville puts together YouTube performance
By Nick Sestanovich
Even in the darkest of times, a little relief can still be found through music.
The students of Will C. Wood High School’s Sylvan Singers choir were able to provide such relief through a recently posted a cappella video, showcasing their talents while also providing a spirit of optimism to others.
Like the rest of Will C. Wood, which has been closed since March 16 due to the global coronavirus pandemic and will remain closed through at least May 1, the choir program has had to adapt to a virtual learning format, which teacher Colby Hawkins has called “an exercise in innovation.”
Source: Coronavirus: School closure gives Will C. Wood choir students new avenue to keep singing – The Reporter
By Richard Freedman
The outcry by supporters of Vallejo music icon Merlin Chestnut and alumni of his Solano Middle School music program is simply a misunderstanding, said Dr. Adam Clark, Vallejo City Unified School District superintendent.
A letter to the Times-Herald signed by about 200 people “dismayed to hear about the district’s current proposal to eliminate the music director position and the music program at Solano-Windemann” is inaccurate and based on Chestnut’s belief his 28-year stint guiding the middle school was over, Clark said by phone Thursday.
In an initial proposed budget to slice $6 million from a $15 million deficit, the band director position was listed. After considerable board input, that position remained intact “weeks ago,” Clark said. An updated budget released last Friday lists a band director position and $71,200 be on the budget hit list, but that was for the current position at Hogan and doesn’t impact Chestnut.
Source: School superintendent: Merlin Chestnut job never in jeopardy – Times-Herald
By Nick Sestanovich
Senzel Ahmady is just a few months away from being done with high school, but she already has 10 years of musical training under her belt.
Ahmady will be demonstrating her decade of skill alongside other performers at Solano Symphony Orchestra’s “Salute to Youth” concert Sunday at Vacaville Performing Arts Theatre.
The Rodriguez High School senior said performing is part of a family tradition.“My mom’s side of the family has always been musical,” she said.
Source: Featured vocalist at Solano Symphony Orchestra concert began pursuing her passion 10 years ago – The Reporter
By RHSEU Boosters
High School Musicians from all over Solano County came together on Sunday, January 12, 2020, at the Vacaville Performance Arts Theater to perform in the 62nd Annual Solano County High School Honor Band. Leading up to this event students were encouraged to send in audition pieces to be selected to play in this special ensemble. The total members came to 117 strong selected from ten high schools from across Solano County. RHSEU was honored with the placement of 21 students listed here below. The entire ensemble met less than a handful of times to practice the five pieces chosen for Sunday’s concert; Cyprus the Great – Karl King, Magnolia Star – Steve Danyew, Rest – Frank Ticheli, Shepherd’s Hey – Percy Grainger, and First Suite in E Flat – Gustav Holst. Led by Guest Conductor Dr. John Zarco, Director of Instrumental Ensembles and Associate Professor of Music at the University of Texas at San Antonio, the students put on a rousing performance for a full house of family and friends. We are so very proud of our Honor Band Members and of all the student musicians in our county. Well done, All!
Source: Good News: RHSEU: 21 Students Selected for 62nd Annual Solano County Honor Band
By RHSEU Boosters Communications Officer
For the Fall 2019 Marching Season we have the opportunity to collaborate with outstanding musicians from the U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West. During the first hour of our Thursday night practices until the end of the season they will be working with different sections of the REU helping to refine the students’ techniques. Over the next several weeks we will be posting a short submission highlighting each one of these Airmen-musicians. We are also working on a blog for our website. Coming soon.
The U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West is stationed at Travis Air Force Base here in Fairfield, CA and is the only active duty Air Force Band west of the Rockies. With a history dating back to 1941, the current band is a descendant of two different Air Force Bands: the 15th Air Force Band and the North American Air Defense Command Band. It is comprised of 60 talented and versatile Airmen-musicians and is under the command of Major Joseph S. Hansen. They have performed in civilian communities in California, Washington, Oregon, Arizona and Nevada in over 250 annual performances for 1.5 million listeners. In addition to performing, the band supports 13 Air Force bases, 8 Air Force Reserve Wings and 6 recruiting squadrons.
Source: Good News: RHSEU: U.S. Air Force Band of the Golden West Mentors REU
Saturday, October 19, 2019, the Rodriguez HS Entertainment Unit attended the 41st Annual Del Oro High School Spectacular in Loomis, CA and they took the show! Starting with the morning events, REU Percussion took 1st Place Street Percussion Overall. It’s been over six years since the REU have performed in the Street Percussion category. Pit Captain Taylor Slight performed solo with Battery in Del Oro, however the routine is still being refined and will soon include more members from Pit. (video on our Facebook)
Source: Good News: RHSEU: Sweeps 2019 Del Oro Spectacular
By RHSEU Boosters
Saturday, October 12, 2019, the Rodriguez High School Entertainment Unit began their 2019 Fall Season by attending the 8th Annual Franklin High School Invitational Band Review in Elk Grove, California. This Review attracts bands from Northern California and Nevada. The Jazz, Concert, Parade, and Street Percussion competitions were hosted by Franklin High School while Consumnes Oaks High School hosted the Field Show portion.
The REU competed in the Parade, Street Percussion, and Field Show categories at the 5A level. The band performs “Joyce’s 71st New York Regiment March” for their street performance. The Field Show this year titled “The Road Not Taken” by John M. Meehan features four soloists. The students performed outstandingly for their first competition performances of the season.
Source: Good News: RHSEU: Begins New 2019 Fall Season with Eight Trophies
By Nick Sestanovich
Neil Postman famously wrote, “Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.” With that in mind, it is considered important for children to set positive examples — and form positive relationships — starting from a very early age to ensure that the future itself is positive.
Sheila Herd, a math teacher at CA Jacobs Middle School, chose to promote positive culture among youth via a music video she shot of students throughout Dixon Unified School District. To bring that message home, she chose the very right song and had the blessing of the band that wrote it.
Herd describes herself as a music lover who attends a lot of concerts and bonds with her son over a lot of bands. One band she is a huge fan of is the Strumbellas, a Canadian indie folk band best known for their 2016 No. 1 alternative hit “Spirits,” which netted them several Canadian music awards, including the coveted Juno Award for Single of the Year.
Source: Dixon teacher shoots music video promoting positive relationships – The Reporter
By McNaughton Newspapers
The Solano Symphony Orchestra will hold its annual Young Artists Competition on Saturday, Nov 9, at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 1600 Union Avenue in Fairfield. Classically trained musicians between the ages of 12 and 21 are invited to apply and compete in four categories: vocal, piano, winds and strings.
The first-place winner in each category will win a monetary prize and the chance to perform as a featured soloist with the Solano Symphony Orchestra during its “Salute to Youth” concert, under the direction of Semyon Lohss, on Feb. 9.
Source: Youths invited to apply for classical music competition
By Nick Sestanovich
For the last 11 years, Dixon High School’s student bands have had the opportunity to perform with world-class musicians for special concerts.
The tradition will continue April 24 when the DHS Jazz Band and Wind Ensemble will get to perform in front of a live audience with none other than Tom E. Politzer, the lead tenor saxophonist with Tower of Power.
Yes, that Tower of Power.
Source: Dixon High bands to play with Tower of Power saxophonist – The Reporter
By RHSEU Boosters
RHSEU Winter Programs competed this past Saturday, March 2nd, at back to back events; the 27th Annual Pageantry on Parade hosted by Fairfield High School and the Armijo Winter Review hosted by Armijo High School. All groups did very well for early in the season. Here are specific results for the L-Pattern/Field Conducting students.
Source: Good News: RHSEU at Pageantry on Parade & Armijo Winter Review
By Susan Hiland
Competition and camaraderie were the order of the day Saturday as Fairfield High School’s Scarlet Brigade Band hosted dozens of marching bands from across the region at the 27th annual Pageantry on Parade.
The event drew 30 middle schools and high schools from throughout Northern California. The daylong competition had different performing units, ranging in divisions from Middle School Novice to High School Open.
The start of the day was a little stressful with the rain making another appearance this week.
“Setting up at 5 a.m. we didn’t know if it would continue all day or not,” said Brian Swetland, music director for Fairfield High School. “If we could just get a sliver of sun that would cheer everyone up.”
Source: Students compete at 27th annual Pageantry on Parade
By Martha Saldaña-Wolf
The Solano Winds will be “On Stage” this spring with an exciting musical program.
The Winds continues its 24th season at 8 p.m. March 8 at the Downtown Theatre, 1035 Texas St. The program not only features an euphonium solo by Alison Mahovsky but also a combined presentation with the Yolo Community Band.
The concert will give the audience the opportunity to experience the musical talents of both bands as each presents a mini-concert, then join forces to present music that is guaranteed to bring down the walls as the 135 combined musicians present their renditions of the elegant “God’s Country” by Rossano Galante and the dramatic “Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral” by
Source: Community News: Solano Winds to feature Fairfield teacher, yolo students
By RHSEU Boosters
The Rodriguez High School Entertainment Unit’s 13th Annual Crab Feed on Feb. 16 was a great success.
Thirty-four tables of eight guests each were sold out only a couple of weeks after tickets went on sale.
The Jazz Band and Jazz Choir created the perfect ambience for the feasting while many of the student members and booster parents worked behind the scenes to make for a smooth evening. As usual the band family and friends thank participants from the bottom of our hearts for your support.
Source: Community News: Rodriguez band boosters crab feed a success