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Extravaganza gives voice to fine arts department

By Eli Boonin-Vail in Arts & Culture

Every year for as long back as anyone in the department can remember, Fairview High School's fine arts program has put on a communal concert to demonstrate the multifaceted talents of its students. Extravaganza serves as a joint concert for the choir, band, jazz, and orchestra programs, with each performance group doing two numbers. Last night was the first night of Extravaganza, which will continue on for a second night tonight.

"I think it's the only time of the year that everybody gets to see the entire department all together," said Choir Director Janice Vlachos, "It's the only time choir kids get to see orchestra, band, and vice versa and the audience gets to see all of it. It's pretty amazing when you see the depth and amount of talent that's in this program."

This year, the event came three weeks earlier than it has in years past, putting a crunch on the fine arts department to learn and perfect their performances. "Usually on block days we get to break off and do combos," said Junior jazz trumpeter Rafael Castillo-Halvorssen, "But because Extravaganza's coming up sooner we've had to rehearse big band during block days." However, many of the students in the program aren't concerned about the increased pace of learning material. "I really don't think it should make the performances any less wonderful," said musical lead Josh Rivera "I think they'll still be pretty outstanding."

In addition to the earlier date of Extravaganza, the Orchestra department's longtime director, Mr. Wallace, retired at the end of last year. This year, Mindy Anderson and Heather Plattenberger lead the Orchestra, making this their first experience with Extravaganza. "This is my first experience in which an entire fine arts department is represented in one big program," said Anderson.

"Choir plays a very large role in Extravaganza," said senior Rosie Irwin. The choir department, with nine separate choirs, dominates the makeup of Extravaganza. Choirs of all sizes, class demographics, and musical styles, perform at Extravaganza, from the all-female Jazz ensemble Age of Guinevere to the more classically inspired all-male choir Chivalry.

For the marching band, Extravaganza is less of an ordeal than it is for the other departments. The Marching Knights are already in the heat of competition season, with their show's music rehearsed and refined. "We've been prepping on our show since August," said Senior Julia Martins, "At this point it's kind of just a run through of the show." Having recently placed third at regionals, the band went into Extravaganza's first night with confidence and flair.

In addition to the choral, orchestral, and band performances, Extravaganza also featured a number from this year's upcoming musical, All Shook Up. "It's usually our main number," said Senior Vidushi Goyal, "It encourages people to come see the show." The number this night featured Seniors Nancy Ross and Josh Rivera leading the cast in a rendition of the titular song, "All Shook up."

Extravaganza is an evening of festivity and performance unlike any other that the arts department puts on all year. "If someone has not seen Extravaganza before or if they don't know what the bands, choirs, and orchestras are about here, it's a really good opportunity." said Band Director Travis Keller. "I'd highly recommend that anyone who is even remotely interested in the fine arts at Fairview that this is the time to check it out."

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