Marvelous Music

A sold-out crowd of 400 music lovers attending the 8th Annual “Nite on the Town” concert at Yosemite High School at 7 p.m. Saturday will be treated to 30 songs presented by more than 100 talented YHS students.

The school gym is magically turned into an upscale music hall complete with a professional sound system and lighting, and four stages which provide a quick and seamless transition from performance to performance throughout the two-hour concert.

Sophomore voacalists Ari Bhalla and twins Olivia and Rachel Mattos, members of the YHS Chamber Singers and Advanced Choir, will form a trio to perform “Long Time Traveler” by The Walin’ Jennys.

“Farewell kind friends whose tender care has long engaged my love ... your fond embrace I now exchange for better friends above.” The Walin’ Jennys.

“The Walin’ Jennys is composed of a trio of women,” said Bhalla. “Rachel, Olivia, and I have been singing together since the third grade, and upon analyzing the Walin’ Jennys group dynamic, it was child’s play deciding that their song ‘Long Time Traveler’ was perfect for us.”

The same YHS trio performed another Wallin’ Jennys song at last year’s “Nite on the Town,” and the girls found it suitable to keep the theme for this year’s performance.

“We’ve worked long and hard on this piece and are excited to perform,” Bhalla said.

Olivia and Rachel, who have been music students of Jackie Byers since they were in kindergarten, performing during their years at Wasuma Elementary School, church children’s choirs, and in Vision of the Arts summer camp productions.

Olivia said the concert will showcase the incredible talent in the Yosemite music program.

“We are a very proud group of students,” Olivia said.

The talented Bhalla has been a member of the Oak Creek Intermediate School and YHS choirs for the six years, and in addition to singing, plays the piano, guitar, and clarinet.

Active outside singing, Bhalla has played on the varsity tennis team the past two seasons, is a member of the YHS Snowboard and Ski Club, and participated this year in a ecology research project with Oxford University.

Olivia and Rachel, members of the YHS Honors Program, are also members and frequent duet performers in the NAME church choir under direction of Monika Moulin.

The twins have also competed the past two years on the YHS cross country team, both being recipients of Coach Ellen Peterson’s Achievement and Camaraderie Awards after this past season.

YHS junior vocalist and guitarist Zoë Bush will perform the popular “Riptide” by Vance Joy.

“I have my guitar with me every day and students always ask me If I can play it, and of course I can,” Bush said. “It’s an upbeat, happy song and I look forward to performing it Saturday night. Our instructors Francisco Marquez and Christel Biasell have worked hard to put this great concert together for the community.”

Bush is a member of the Concert Choir, and is also active in advanced drama. She occasionally performs at open-mic nights in the Mountain Area, and at senior care facilities, and aspires to be a singer/songwriter.

“Nite on the Town has continuously been a very successful event for our YHS Music Department,” said Francisco Marquez, YHS music director. “The concert has been a fantastic way for us to promote all the positive music education programs our mountain community, and showcase the many talented students we have on our campus. It is a show that anyone who loves music would not want to miss.”

The evening includes a variety of decadent desserts prepared by YHS culinary arts students, and a 100-item silent auction.

Details: Yosemite High School “Nite on the Town.” 7 - 9 p.m., March 5. Tickets $20 in advance, $25 at the door. Reserved seating and special recognition for sponsor tables of eight for $250. (559) 683-4667 ext. 243.