Music Boosters fundraise under the stars


Amos Figueroa

Guitarist George Ward and bassists Jacob Neves preform a solo outside the PAC.

Amos Figueroa, Staff Writer

Swinging upbeat jazz renditions, massive orchestral pieces moving audiences, raffles, and prizes for the whole family, are a few ways to describe the music department’s annual fundraiser.

The Music Boosters have done it again, creating their annual dinner which occurred this year on Friday, April 8. For as long as the Woodside community can remember, the Music Department has sponsored suave dinner concerts, giving music students a chance to show off their skills and their accomplishments during the year. For this year’s fundraiser, the Music Boosters decided on the theme of “A Starry Night,” drawing inspiration from Vincent Van Gough’s painting, The Starry Night, featuring a small city under a cascading sky of clouds and stars.

The concert occurred on Friday, April 8, and began at 6:00 pm with a humble, – yet undoubtedly – jazzy opening. Upon first arriving, families were invited to a plethora of black tables displaying refreshments, gift baskets, Musical merchandise, and at the very end of the PAC, the performing Jazz Combo, performing Wave by Antônio Carlos Jobim. After about 30 minutes of friends socializing, children laughing, and jazz solos, families were invited inside the Performing Arts Center to take their seats.

Backstage, however, the music room was buzzing with over 60 musicians preparing for the concert ahead. Some students wore all-black attire, others taped stars to their shirts, and some came dressed regularly. In addition to a variety of interesting attire, there was also a variety of interesting foods provided to performing musicians. Right outside the music room was a set of tables displaying a family-style, all-you-can-eat set of fast food Chinese cuisine. While students were offered Panda Express, parents were given a variety of desserts, special treats, and several prizes and raffles. 

With lights shining, families clapping, and students preparing, both Concert Band and orchestra performed three songs, ranging from quite ethereal passages to bold military-style marches. The only moment of tension occurred during the second half of Concert Band’s setlist. 

“We didn’t hear Mr. Tolles at one point, and that led to some miscommunication,” Senior Edward Pacheco said. “Other than that, our performance was flawless,” Pacheco said.

With the incident out of the way, Mr. Tolles sensed Concert Band’s nervousness and asked two-band members to perform a special duet that was originally scheduled for later on in the night. 

“We would play in the practice room for fun, and then Mr. Tolles heard us playing and asked us to perform a few days before the concert,” junior Kiera Mahoney said. [Mr. Tolles] said he’d like other people to be able to hear us, which we were very surprised about, but I was flattered, and it was nice to hear that he had faith in us.” 

The piece performed was a rendition of the very recognizable, Joe Hisaishi’s Merry-Go-Round of Life from the Studio Ghibli film “Howl’s Moving Castle.” Junior Kiera O’Grady performed on the Oboe with a piano accompaniment from Mahoney.

As for the funds, they serve a special purpose in the Music Department.

“[The money] will be going to go to students on tour next year, which means we take a giant road trip, perform, go to some hotels, amusement parks, and just really have a great time.” junior and percussion leader Connor Engel said.