Blast 24: American Bandstand opened last weekend at Churchill!
All three performances were greeted by loud applause after each act and standing ovations at the end of each show. Audience members enjoyed watching and listening to the talented singers, dancers, and musicians. And they marveled at the creative set, and sophisticated lighting and sound.
For a couple of hours each day, under the direction of Carlos Barillo, Churchill’s stage was transformed into Dick Clark’s magical studio from yesteryear.
For the show’s seniors, reality is now setting in that there are only two more Blast performances in their future. Two of these students shared their thoughts with the Patch in our last edition of the “Meet the Seniors” blog.
Erik Rigaux has almost lost count of the number of shows in which he has performed at Churchill.
This is his fourth Blast and his thirteenth show overall. A show choir veteran as well, Erik’s fondest Churchill choral memory is traveling to the different events to spend the day competing against talented students from various schools. “As cheesy as this may sound,” Erik says, “it’s so much fun to hang out with the other groups between songs and play spontaneous singing games.”
Erik relates that he will really miss everyone associated with Blast and is already feeling nostalgic about ending his Blast career. Referring to the tradition carried out before the final show, Erik notes, “I will have to write a killer senior speech to
remember it all.”
This year, Erik’s solo is “Ball of Confusion” by the Temptations. Never having heard this psychedelic number about the problems facing American in the 1960’s, Erik now appreciates “singing about segregation and other issues that made the world so confusing back then.”
Erik and his fellow singers and dancers have received well deserved acclaim in this year’s Blast. And just like in years past, the Blast Band has also collected rave reviews. Under the leadership of Musical Director Chuck Underwood and Assistant Musical Director Ben Kellogg, the seventeen member band is an extraordinary part of the show.
Eric Zidar is this year’s student Band Director. In his second year playing drums in Blast, Eric also plays percussion in the Churchill Wind Symphony and moonlights in a rock band with his friends, something he hopes to continue to do in college.
Asked for what he likes most about playing in the Blast Band, Eric points to the superior production value. “It’s cool to have such expensive mics on the drums,” he says with a smile.
Eric wanted to thank Chuck Underwood and Ben Kellogg for “being great musical mentors.” For Patch readers who have never had the pleasure of listening to the Blast Band, Eric leads a professional caliber ensemble.
Important Note: Tickets for Friday and Saturday, December 14 and 15 can still be purchased online at www.wchsarts.com. However, online sales will CLOSE on Thursday night, December 13 at 10 p.m. After that, you should buy your tickets at the box office starting one hour before show time.