Darren Loney Wins Big in his First Year

Gahr High’s Marching Band, Alumnus Darren Loney Director of Bands, received an extraordinary article about their 3A Division of the 2013 California State Band Championship season in the Orange County Register.

Darren is in his first year at Gahr, and is quoted in the article saying, ““We can’t control the other groups that show up,” Loney advised his team, “so as long as the band has their best performance up until that point, (we’ve) achieved something great”.”

Christopher Johnstone as Magaldi in Evita at Segerstrom

Alumnus Christopher Johnstone is starring as Magaldi in Evita at Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa December 10-22, 2013.

Chris has received several excellent reviews already on this nation-wide tour. “…floridly embodying the quintessential lounge lizard” (Chicago Theater Beat), “As the smarmy lounge singer out of his league with the sexual leap-frogging Eva, Christopher Johnstone is silly-fun personified. He almost makes you feel sorry for the lothario.” (Theater Mania) “And Christopher Johnstone finds the essence of Magaldi, the singer who is the first in a string of affairs Eva uses to get ahead; even though Johnstone has a gorgeous voice, we buy him at portraying a mediocre talent.” (Stage and Cinema)

Althea Waites Interviewed for Swedish Radio and Television

Journalist Birgitta Tollan interviewed Althea Waites for Swedish Radio and Television. Ms. Tollan is working on a documentary focusing on women in the performing arts; Waites was one of 12 women selected for an in-depth interview on her life and work. Excerpts from the documentary will be broadcast on Swedish Public Radio in January and will also be available via podcast and online.

Marina Harris Sings with San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus

Alumna Marina Harris has been engaged as “Diva” with the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus for their holiday extravaganza December 6 at the San Francisco War Memorial Opera House.

In an article on the event in The Bay Area Reporter, Tim Seelig, conductor, explained, “Seelig laughed as he recalled the e-mail exchange that resulted in Harris signing on for the show. “We are looking for a diva,” he told her. Harris’ reply: “I speak diva fluently”.”

They will repeat the concert three additional times on December 24th at  5, 7 and 9 p.m., at the Castro Theatre, their “home” theater.


Steven Spielberg and the Return to Film School Wins Big

A film scored by Daniel Ellis won two awards at the CSU Media Arts Festival. Steven Spielberg and the Return to Film School won the narrative category, and the Audience Choice Award.

The film’s director Joshua Hoh said, “And to top it all off, we had the pleasure of recording the final three-minute piece of the film with the CSULB Symphony Orchestra, made up of 80 of CSULB’s finest musicians. As a music minor myself, it was truly a dream come true to bring the film and music departments together for this project.”

There were 154 entries from 16 CSU campuses.  You can watch the film here.

VJ Rosales on NBC’s The Sing Off

Alumnus VJ Rosales is one of the featured performers on this season’s “The Sing Off” on NBC. The show premieres Monday, December 9th at 9:00p. The Sing-Off is a reality show competition for a cappella singing groups.

VJ will be singing with The Filharmonics, a group of male Filipino singers. “Their knack for ’90s R&B, mixed with their Filipino culture, is sure to bring a new twist to the music of the past.”

Only 10 groups are on the show. The songs featured on the show will be available on iTunes the day after each telecast. To see The Filharomincs in action, watch a video here.  A run-down on all the of the groups competing may be found here.