Just a couple weeks into school and Heritage High is already off to a jazzy start.
About 60 music students had the grand opportunity to participate in a jazz master class with musician Christian Tamburr.
Steve Ernest, the Brentwood school's music teacher, jumped at the chance to bring Tamburr and his students together.
"What a great connection to make between the pros and HHS students who might be heading toward a career in the music industry," Ernest said.
"This is a big deal for the kids involved in instrumental music and recording arts programs. They got the chance to interact with professional musicians from all parts of the country. It also gave them a chance to ask some pointed questions about the creative process, being a musician, dealing with tough (musical) situations ..."
Led by Tamburr and his band members, the recent program included a detailed Q&A session, a rehearsal/performance and detailed master classes.
Tamburr worked with students from the percussion, strings and wind sections.
According to the allaboutjazz.com website, Tamburr is a "multi-instrumentalist, accomplished on the piano and trap set as well as world and orchestral percussion. However, his true talent is exhibited on his instrument of choice, the vibraphone."
The musician traveled the world as pianist and musical director for Julio Iglesis, and in 2008, he was the musical director
Ernest said the kids ate up all the information, including the group's take on how a song "evolves as they play and is never exactly the same twice.
"They inspired the kids, and together we had a lot of fun doing what we love -- music."
STAGE PRESENT/PRESENCE: And, there's more good news for Heritage.
The school's award-winning theater group, the Rising Stars, recently received a grand gift in the form of show rights.
"We Will Rock You," the musical, will be on the school's production list.
According Tammy Vance, costume designer, "No high school in the U.S. has ever been given the rights to do the musical. (Teacher) Hillary Pedrotti entered an online contest." Based on the classic rock song by Queen, the musical has never even had a U.S. professional touring group.
"This is big news," she said.
They are the champions, indeed.
THEY'VE GOT SPIRIT: Freedom High's cheer team will host a fashion show on Aug. 18.
The fundraiser will be held from 6 to 9:30 p.m. at the Oakley school, 1050 Neroly Road.
In addition to the show, dinner by Brentwood Fine Meats will be served. Freedom cheerleaders will serve as the runway models, sporting fashions from His and Her Formal Wear, Boards and More, Tux of Class and By Yvonne Formal Wear. There will also be a silent auction. Tickets are $25. For more info, call teacher Sandy Torres at 925-625-5900 or email firstname.lastname@example.org