Band: Stirring Up Treble


Mr. Gray conducts the students through the final band concert together as a family.

Raegan Angelo, Staff

For the past seventeen years, the La Sierra Band program has been led by Mr. Paul Gray. This spring concert was his last concert at La Sierra High School.

“As many of you know, this is my final concert as the La Sierra Band director,” Mr. Gray said while the audience applauded. He continued, “Not only is this my final performance here, but also my senior’s.” 

All of the band seniors stood up and everyone applauded them. The band concert was a very emotional time for everyone, seeing as their close friends as well as their director and friend will be leaving the program. Many of the musicians hugged one another and took photos with the seniors celebrating their final moments together as a group. 

At the band banquet where everyone received their awards, junior Yescenia Hirshauer gave a heartfelt speech about her director. 

“I know that this is an emotional time for all of us. And I know that it is going to be a big step moving on without him and without our seniors, but we still have their memories. We still have the memories of everything that they’ve done for all of us and all of the memories of all of the fun times. We’ll be okay, I promise,” Hirshauer said. She continued, “band is about being there for each other and making those memories with the people we love.” 

At the beginning of the concert, Mr. Gray announced all of the soloists per song of their performance. Junior Shawn Casas had a trumpet solo in the third song. 

“I felt pretty good about my solo. I know this concert was hard for Gray since it was his last concert, but it felt good to know that he chose me to have a solo in his last one with us, so yeah that’s about it,” Casas said.

Senior Giovanni Leon also had solos during his final high school concert which included an entire song to himself. Giovanni has been a very vital part of the band program for the past four years. When Mr.Gray is not around to conduct, Giovanni will take over and lead the band in their warm-ups, or even conduct a whole song for them to follow. 

 “Having my own song felt really special to me. Mr. Gray has taught me so much these past four years and I felt like I finally got to show everything that he’s taught me. I also really like entertaining people and I felt like having my own song was a good chance to do that,” he explained. Along with having his own song at the concert, Giovanni also had a solo in two of the other songs. “Yeah, like I said, I just really like to entertain people, and when I play, I feel like I surprise myself a lot, and I like to challenge myself to get better every time.” 

After the final song, Mr. Gray and the students bowed, and Mr. Gray gave his final parting words before all of his seniors left along with the memories he left behind.

“Thank you all so much for coming out tonight, and thank you for all of the love and support for the past seventeen years.”

The band program became a close-knit family over the past four years, and Mr. Gray left them with a handful of memories that they will never forget.