Redwood senior musicians showcase their skills

The lights dim over the stage in the Little Theater already filled with sheet music stands, a piano and seats for the musicians. Students march out from backstage, lining up their instruments to begin their pieces. This is a typical beginning to the recent performances from the variety of upper-division music classes such as Advanced Performance Workshop (APW), Intermediate Performance Workshop (IPW), Symphonic Band and Jazz Band. These give a spotlight for students to showcase their skills both individually and as a group. Some students, such as Charlie Freiburger, Jack White, Joey O’Neill and Asal Takesh, have taken it upon themselves to develop their craft outside of the classroom as well.

Charlie Freiburger and Jack White
Freiburger and White are both members of Redwood’s Advanced Performance Workshop (APW) class, a class centered around selecting a variety of songs and working in groups to perform them at the end of the semester. Freiburger and White both compose their own music, drawing inspiration from pieces that already exist. The collaboration, not only between the pair, but with the APW class as a whole, leads to experimentation with the pieces they work on. It creates something entirely new, as Freiburger and Whites’ own personalities and styles combine to take their own unique spin on songs that may previously exist. Learn more about Freiburger and White’s music-making process in the video below.

Joey O’Neill
A cacophonic cascade of piano keys sings through the air as O’Neill begins his solo amidst a Jazz Band performance in the Little Theater. The other instruments grow quiet as O’Neill’s music fills the room. O’Neill is a part of Jazz and Symphonic Band and beyond Redwood, is a member of the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, which performs at the Louise M. Davis Symphony Hall in Hayes Valley. It boasts hundreds of musicians from across the Bay Area. A key component of O’Neill’s success is his focus on technical skills, rehearsing and rehearsing until he is able to exhibit a song as perfectly as possible. Learn more about O’Neill’s musical ventures both in and outside of Redwood in the video below.

Asal Takesh
From Takesh’s very first musical theater production of In The Heights at Mill Valley’s Throckmorton Theater in eighth grade, she knew she was meant to pursue a career on the stage. Takesh’s love of music originated from her father, a musician. She was able to develop her own voice and passion through exploring songs and the culture surrounding music. Alongside her participation and key roles in Throckmorton Theater productions, Takesh has been singing and performing with the American Conservatory Theater’s Cabaret program since her sophomore year. Also a member of APW, Takesh collaborates with other Redwood performers to expand her vocal and technical repertoire, all while producing her own music outside of class. Learn more about Takesh’s long-standing relationship with music as well as her future ambitions in the video below.