Musicians end year with Performance Workshop

Caroline Fogarty

Advanced Performance Workshop musicians put on their final two shows of the year last Wednesday and Thursday on the stage of the Little Theater.

The class will graduate over half its members this year, so for many it was their last time performing as a Redwood musician.

SOPHOMORES Jake Baldwin and Sophie Keaney and senior Zak McDonald-Ryan perform
SOPHOMORES Jake Baldwin and Sophie Keaney and senior Zak McDonald-Ryan perform “500 Miles”

Senior Annika Wells, a third year Advanced Performance Workshop member, sang an original song titled “Back to You” while playing the piano and accompanied by Jake Baldwin on the bass.  She also was the lead singer on four other songs and played ukulele and sang backup on one more.

Each student in the class chose a song they would like to perform.  They then filled in the parts with their fellow classmates, according to Wells.

The wide variety of talent in the class shined through over the two days of performances.  From a calm acoustic ukulele cover of “Lemonade” sung by junior Carly Butler to pianist Riley Overend, junior, rising from his seat mid jazz song to freestyle a rap verse, the displays of skill were plentiful.

Sophomore Aaron Halford wowed the audience not only with his Elvis Presley-like moves, but with his original song “Be Your Man,” an upbeat song with fierce accompaniment from Riley Overend, Matty Michna, Jake Baldwin, and John Van Liere.

Jason Zucker, a four year member of Advanced Performance Workshop, performed a rendition of “Twice” by Little Dragons and a Kendrick Lamar medley on Thursday night as well as MCing both nights of performances.  Zucker commended music teacher John Mattern for helping his musical growth while at Redwood.

“Mr. Mattern has been a huge help in terms of my development and encouraging everyone in the program’s development,” Zucker said.

Senior Nick Lopez’s performance of  Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide,” accompanied by senior Michael Cuenco on guitar, was dedicated to Mattern for a similar reason.  Lopez said Mattern always emphasized that the music is what matters which kept him humble.

“Everyone ends up playing on a few songs, one of their choice and then the other ones are just their friends asking them,” Wells said.