Musical Journey Continues

Pictured: Chris Serrano, 2016 Donna Coffee Youth Scholarship co-recipient -- Photo courtesy of Chris Serrano

Pictured: Chris Serrano, 2016 Donna Coffee Youth Scholarship co-recipient — Photo courtesy of Chris Serrano

This school year has been great so far! I cannot make it any more clear how much I am in love with my bass clarinet. Now that I am a part of both the Jazz Ensemble and Combo, my abilities as a musician have greatly increased. I am learning how to improvise with ease, I am learning new songs that I have never heard before, and best of all, I am improving upon my skills as a performer.

Being in those two bands also allows for more time to hang out with friends after school. Between practices, a bunch of my friends and I grab lunch at either the pizza place or Taco Bell only a few blocks away from school. And since we have about two whole hours to kill, we still have plenty of time to chill afterward.
The first concert has already been announced! I am super excited. The band teacher mentioned the possibility of a food truck to help raise funds for the program. There also may be a haunted house attraction and trick-or-treat stations throughout the building for kids. One of the songs we will be performing for this show is an awesome adaptation of Michael Jackson’s Thriller! We will also be doing a lot of Halloween-related blues numbers like Blue Moon and possibly Autumn Leaves.
Other than band, I have also been thoroughly enjoying the Sound Recording class I have been taking on Thursdays. We have recently received our first project for the year. I really like this class because you learn a variety of skills necessary to work in a professional studio, such as how to properly handle equipment, some music theory essential for making your compositions be the best possible, and more. It is a pretty straight forward class.
As far as music outside of school, I am also doing great. Just this passed weekend I was part of a small production at the Academy of Music for the Blind, which I attend regularly, in order to raise funds. We played a bunch of songs we haven’t done in a while which made it twice as enjoyable. The following day, I went to a party with some friends where I got the opportunity to play with the band that was hired. They were a Mexican group whose main focus was on a style of music called Norteรฑa which is from the North region of Mexico. The leader of this band was constantly switching between instruments while I remained on the drums. There was also a lot of good food being served as well as an all-around good time being with friends.
I am looking forward to a future with increasing bright hopes. Once again, thank you for choosing me as the winner of this scholarship.

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