Halloween Concert held at Student Center

Raul Samaniego

Community Orchestra member Lisa Rapp didn’t expect to be playing 2nd trumpet at the first Fall Exchange Concert held on Halloween in the Student Center.

Rapp said she has been a member of the orchestra “for about three or four years.”

The event featured musical pieces by both the Cerritos College Orchestra and Concert Band, directed by Dr. David Betancourt of the Music Department at Cerritos College.

Many of the orchestra and concert band members dressed in costumes for the spirit of the holiday.

Betancourt himself was dressed as the Mickey Mouse character Merlin from the Disney classic “Fantasia.”

He elected to direct without his huge four fingered white gloves because he could not hold and maneuver his baton.

The evening began with music seemingly written for the All Hallowed Eve’s festivities including the opening piece “Funeral March of a Marionette” written by Charles Gounald.

Betancourt gave a brief description of the next selection to be performed and asked the audience to imagine ghosts and goblins having a party while prancing around in a festive mood.

Betancourt went on to announce the second piece.

“Danse Macabre” by Ed. William Ryden, indeed created a sense that spirits, phantasms and ghosts were dancing in an old haunted mansion at the Student Center.

During the intermission, about 30 children in attendance participated in a costume parade with candy being handed out to the most interesting costumes.

Many adults were in costume and accompanied the children in the festivities as well.

This was the first concert the Music Department scheduled on Halloween night.

Betancourt said, “They (students) have been preparing since September for this concert.”

Nervousness wasn’t evident but Dr. Betancourt prepared the students by, “Talking about it (nervousness) all the time because it is one of the natural parts about performing,” Betancourt continued.

“The best thing you can do is be being prepared musically, so really know your music.

“Mostly, it’s preparation,” he said.

All of the event’s preparation was done by the Music Department and the Music Club.

“Different members of the band and orchestra came in at 3 p.m. and transformed the whole Student Center to what you see tonight with the tunnel, the stage and everything,” Betancourt said.

The Concert Band completed the evening performances with renditions of its own by Frank Tichell and “Abracadabra” concluding with Selections from Walt Disney’s animated movie “Fantasia.”

The next music concert is scheduled for Nov. 13 in the Burnight Center Theatre.