Monday was a momentous occasion for the local West High School, being its 50th anniversary, and I was graciously offered a spot in the pit band backing the live music aspects of the show. The show ran two hours, and was really a whole multimedia presentation, incorporating a very professionally shot and edited introduction movie, recorded music, and custom arranged medleys by the talented and hard working Mr. Warren Dobson.
When I was hired, I knew we would be mostly playing medleys and that the show had a retrospective, nostalgic theme. It was only once I received the show packet that I understood the true scope of what we were doing. All in all, there was material for over 30 songs in the show! I nervously began my standard preparation procedures for the performance.
But I shouldn’t have been worried. Once we were at rehearsal a few weeks later, I could feel the pieces fall into place. Mr. Dobson knew exactly what he needed out of the band and was able to guide the proceedings. Protip: it definitely helps to have extreme talent like John Barker on bass and Dom Miller on drums.
A few days after rehearsal, the show was on! The band arrived early for setup, as is customary, and for an impromptu run through with the choir for a few tunes. Unfortunately, I missed most of the run through as I had trouble setting up my rig. My Twin Reverb has been acting a bit strange on the vibrato channel and emitting an ever louder growing hum as time goes by. I love the smooth, acoustic sound my amp can give, but its weight and upkeep may prove too much for me in the long run. Luckily, Bruce Milburn, the extremely knowledgeable sound engineer running the board was able to assist me in getting an acceptable sound for the show.
The concert began with a hilarious introduction movie, which really loosened the audience and put them in a great mood for our first number. The music consisted of a few full tunes, but mostly of by-decade-medleys for the 60s, 70’s, and 80’s. Our biggest hit of the night was probably the Beatles Medley which was comprised of In My Life, Penny Lane, and Hey Jude. As a huge bonus, featured on saxophone was none other than Mr. Paul Perez, whose solos and melodies garnered great reactions from the audience. Throughout the performance, touching tribute was paid to prior teachers and staff of West High.
The Complete, Unabridged (Slightly Edited, Partially Fictionalized) History of West High School was a great show, and a project I am proud to have participated in. Finally, I’d like to congratulate Mr. Warren Dobson for producing an awesome experience for West High alumni and students.