January 4, 2019

Rian Chiaravalloti (left, standing ) conducts AHS student musicians along side professional Best Brass of Christmas ensemble for "Keeping Aztec Stronger" benefit concert on Sunday 12/9 .

Photos and Story By Jacque Ritchie, TALON

On a chilly Sunday afternoon, Aztec High School principal Dr. Warman Hall welcomed an audience of around 100 to the December 9, "Keeping Aztec Stronger" concert. The proceeds to benefit Aztec Municipal School District Foundation to provide scholarships for local students. The concert featured the musical stylings of the Best Brass of Christmas ensemble. Dr. Hall greeted the 11 piece ensemble by saying, "Thank you for bringing a little bit of beauty into our lives and our day,"

And bring it they did. Setting the mood for the afternoon the group offered their rendition of "Deck the Halls" followed by rousing holiday medley that really captured the spirit of the season. Students, teachers and neighbors gathered to be-bop along to the jazzy big band sound as veteran trumpeteer Mick Hesse of Farmington led the group of seasoned pros through their paces.

It never ceases to amaze how a series of vibrations sent through the air can affect people emotionally. Best Brass took the audience from a familiar and comforting holiday medley to the powerfully somber "O Magnum Mysterium" a 15th century piece that could move one to tears.

One highlight of the afternoon's performance was when five AHS student musicians joined the pros on stage for a performance of "Stand in the Light" written by season 9 winner of "The Voice" Jordon Smith, with music arranged by Best Bress member Don Allen dedicated to the students, staff and faculty of Aztec High. Conducted by AHS music instructor Rian Chiaravalloti, the kids stepped up to the challenge and played magnificantly recieving a well-deserved standing-O. The piece was chosen to honor The student musicians included Aedan Wells, Adrian Quintana, Charlotte Martin, Alexis Acrey and Ferran 'Isaiah' Mendieta.

The concert was sponsored by the Connie Gotsch Arts Foundation. Donations were accepted at the door, additional donations were recieved after the concert to total over $800 to the AMSD Foundation scholarship fund.

AHS student musicians get a standing ovation at December 9, Keeping Aztec Stronger benefit concert.


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