June 16th, 2024

Chinook tunes in to ’70s for new musical production

By Cal Braid - Lethbridge Herald Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on December 9, 2022.

Herald photo by Cal Braid Roan Fazzio and bandmates rip through a 70s classic as part of a rehearsal for Rocking Through the Ages at Chinook High School.

Rocking Though the Ages is a 1970s musical variety show presented by Chinook High School and features comedy, dance, guitar, orchestra, and rock and roll performances.

The show is running Dec. 12-14 at 7 p.m. in the Chinook Media Centre.

The ’70s theme includes songs from artists like The Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Rush, Queen, and more.

At a Thursday afternoon preview rehearsal, students from the fine/performing arts programs demonstrated their musical skills and certainly sounded prepared for the upcoming performances. They blasted through remarkably good versions of Sunshine of Your Love and Layla during the rehearsal.

Scott Davidson, the music teacher at Chinook has been doing the Rock and Pop course for eight years at the school.

“The main class for the show is Rock and Pop 10/20/30. We also have a Guitar 9 and Guitar 10/20/30. In total there’s 120 students in the show. There is some drama, some comedy, and also some dance. There’s a bit of a storyline, but it’s mostly about the rock and roll.” He said that those who attend can expect a 90 minute show.

Brayden Risling is a drummer for five songs in the show and said, “We have a total of 13 sets with two to three songs in each set. We have different artists and we play a couple songs from each artist in each set.”

There are other drummers and musicians who rotate in and out throughout the show, too. Of the songs that he’s playing, he said Carry On Wayward Son by Kansas is his favourite.

“It’s really fun, and it’s fast.” He’s been drumming for almost nine years, and said his first show was a Beatles-themed show back in the sixth grade. Asked if he thinks the group is prepared for next week’s live shows, he said, “I think so. It’s exciting to play music on a stage in front of people.”

Guitarist Roan Fazzio plays with the production and said he’s been part of a lot of rock shows over the years in different schools. He’s in his third year at Chinook and is also in a band of his own. Work on the production begins in September, but Fazzio said, “We’ve only really gotten down to it recently. We go to class every time and we work on different parts. We’ve been working on our specific ’70s songs for a while now. We kind of started in October; started to think about what we wanted to do for the show.”

He said they have class daily, and the consistency of that routine shows up as skill during the rehearsal.

“A lot of us have our instruments at home that we will practice on, and then we’ll work on our own stuff and get better that way. A lot of us are very dedicated to it. The majority of us.”

When complimented upon the level of musicianship in the production, he was quick to credit his classmates, “Thank you, there’s a lot of very talented people here.”

He said that one particular song presented a higher degree of difficulty for him than the others: “We’re doing a song by Rush called Spirit of Radio, and that’s probably the toughest one. I’m one of the guitarists on it, not to toot my own horn. It’s a very difficult song obviously.”

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