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The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


The Student News Site of Rock Ridge High School


Rock Ridge Bands’ Spring Concert Blooms With Unity

On May 23, the Stone Hill Middle School Band and Rock Ridge Bands collaborated to dazzle audiences with the fresh sounds of spring.
Ananya Karthik
Sophomore Bhanuteja Alluri, senior Umair Syed, and freshman Ethan Williams play the trumpets in “Thunderscape,” an up-tempo song about the power of nature — especially that of thunder.

On the evening of May 23, the auditorium was filled with the anticipatory buzz of excited parents and friends as they gathered for the spring band concert consisting of the Stone Hill Middle School Band and the Rock Ridge Bands. The event kicked off with a short speech by the high school band director Justin Ratcliff. He introduced the Stone Hill Middle School Band and its director, Brian Morton, and set the stage for an evening of musical excellence. 

The middle school band opened the concert with a captivating performance of “Zombie Attack!” arranged by Jason Taurins. Following the performance, their director took a moment to announce that it was the seventh grade band on stage. Typically, the eighth grade band performs at such concerts, but the talent and dedication of these younger students had earned them this opportunity. The middle school band concluded their set by performing “Spania!” arranged by David Shaffer with the Rock Ridge Concert Band. 

As the Stone Hill band exited the stage to enthusiastic applause, the Rock Ridge Concert Band prepared to take their place. Composed mostly of underclassmen, this group performed the fast-paced “Thunderscape,” arranged by Eric Morales. Following this, Ratcliff explained to the audience that although they are witnessing only a two minute song being played, it is actually a culmination of months of hard work and preparation. He expressed that what the students were doing on stage wasn’t easy. The coordination of the instruments, the pace, and every minor detail had to be accounted for in order for a perfect execution.

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The highlight of the evening was undoubtedly the performance by the wind ensemble, the most advanced group within the band program. Their first piece, “Snarl,” by John Mackey, was performed in collaboration with United Sound, an elective that pairs students with special education students to teach them how to read music and play instruments. The audience also got to witness the group perform the Rock Ridge fight song. The collaboration was a touching display of inclusivity, highlighting the power of music to bring people together. 

Following the moving performance, the wind ensemble played their final pieces of the evening: “Yorkshire Ballad” by James Barnes and “Amparito Roca” by Jamie Texidor. The powerful melodies and harmonies filled the auditorium, their cheerful, up-tempo dynamics welcoming the spring season. As the last notes faded, high school director Ratcliff took the stage once more to commend senior Arun Jannupreddy, who had achieved the impressive distinction of qualifying for the All-State Band. 

The concert concluded with the entire band standing up, welcoming the roars of applause for them. The night showcased not only the incredible talent and hard work of the students but also the dedication of their directors and the supportive community that surrounded them.


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About the Contributors
Ananya Karthik
Ananya Karthik, Arts & Entertainment Editor
Ananya is a junior, and joined The Blaze staff  in her sophomore year. She is currently the Arts and Entertainment Editor, and she loves writing articles about events occurring in Rock Ridge. Her love of reading and writing, which began when she was little, only grew as she got older, and she quickly gained an interest in writing reviews. Now, she hopes to pursue a career or profession in journalism. In her free time, Ananya likes to watch TV shows, her favorite being Gilmore Girls, listen to Harry styles, and keep up with pop culture news on Instagram and Facebook.
Dayanna Anton
Dayanna Anton, Staff Writer
Dayanna is a sophomore in her first year on staff. In her free time, Dayanna watches videos on YouTube and plays video games. She is very open to playing all types of video games, such as Roblox with her friends. Dayanna is hoping to re-join Key Club again this year. Dayanna is also part of a program called Campus, where she gets to know more about College and all the necessary steps for getting into it once she graduates high school.

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