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January 11, 2011 > Noteworthy musicians

Noteworthy musicians

Submitted by Jan McDaniel
Photo by Carol Vallejo

At 13 years old, Noah Radoye is a player. No, not that kind of player but a tuba player for the Newark Junior High School Band. His friend, Daniel Vallejo, is a baritone horn player and another friend, Imraan Kasim, a saxophonist. The band has 43 other musicians performing on drums, saxophones, flutes and many other instruments.

The Newark Junior High School Band, led by their intrepid and patient instructor Andre Ehling, is comprised of 46 enthusiastic and talented seventh- and eighth-grade students. Some are very experienced, while others are new to performance.

Band members meet daily in class to rehearse and receive instruction, performing at various times during the year such as at the Newark Days Parade and at the half-time show during Newark Memorial's football game November 5, 2010. Their next performance is a Winter Concert on Thursday, January 13 at 7 p.m. in the Newark Junior High School Cafeteria.

"Making music is akin to magic. It transcends one's usual consciousness in the best possible way," said Ehling.

First and foremost a music aficionado, Ehling has played alto saxophone since fourth grade and participated continuously in school bands throughout middle and high school. He continues to play his alto sax with the Newark Symphonic Winds and smaller ensembles.

"Fundraisers, field trip arrangements, concert planning and setup... there is definitely never a dull moment," mused Ehling, reflecting on the fact that there is so much more to teaching junior high band than purely enjoying music.

After next week's Winter Concert, work will begin in earnest for the band's music competition at Disneyland in March. The musicians will travel to Anaheim by bus, compete with other middle school bands and enjoy a day of fun at Disneyland Park.

Daniel Vallejo, an eighth grader in the band, looks forward to the trip but also enjoys music for its own sake. "Everywhere you go, there's always time for music," said Vallejo who, in addition to playing baritone horn, has also studied guitar, piano and trumpet.

Fellow band member Imraan Kasim, another eighth grader, plays more than one instrument, too. As a band member, he performs on baritone saxophone but is also a flautist. At next week's concert, he will perform a flute solo. Kasim attributes his musicianship to his hardworking teacher. "Mr. Ehling has taught me everything I know."

Those who wish to see and hear an accomplished musical performance by Newark teens, who have worked diligently together to hone their creative skills, should attend the Winter Concert. Admission is free; just bring your enthusiasm!

Winter Concert
Thursday, January 13
7 p.m.
Newark Junior High School Cafeteria
Newark Junior High School
6201 Lafayette Avenue, Newark
(510) 818-3050

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