The next step in the life of an artist

It was quite a weekend! After teaching my Saturday classes, I met up with a VCS family in Sacramento to help them shop for an artist-level trumpet for their son. This is a special time, especially for the young artist…


What a Week!! More to come!!

The VCS Radio Symphony kids knock "The Lord of the Rings" out of the park! The VCS Radio Explorer Ensemble Rocks out Christmas Music. The 3rd graders pass their pre-band phase with flying colors and begin their instrument selections. 

The broadcast industry takes notice!

Radio World Magazine does a two-page feature on our network project. 

Each Wednesday at 3:00 Pacific time, high school radio stations across America come together for a one-hour LIVE show. It's called the National High School Radio Network. 

On its third year, the programme is broadcast on radio stations from California to New York.  

Watch out ESPN! VCS Radio is Here!

Broadcasters, Andrew Fisher and Tyler Aas (pictured above) along with Ryan Butler, David Cassinelli, and Aaron Jesinger have made great strides in broadcasting, showing they can do play-by-play with the best of them! They're middle school students, making them…

VCS Radio Symphony to perform Tolkien's Lord of the Rings November 6th

VCS Radio Symphony to perform Tolkien's Lord of the Rings -- not the movie, but the original trilogy as composed in Symphony #1 by Dutch composer, Johan de Meij. 

His monumental work is in five movements built on five episodes and characters from the epic story. The symphony, itself was completed in 1987 receiving accolades worldwide; performed by such prestigious orchestras as the London Symphony. 

Our Jazz band actually stopped a train Saturday! What happened?

(photo by Vera Tu)

Saturday afternoon was alive with JAZZ as the VCS Radio Jazz Ensemble presented their unique brand of music to an enthusiastic audience. It was part of the 3-day outdoor Vacaville Jazz Festival being hosted at Nut Tree Plaza this last weekend. The problem was the train that circled the plaza's outside park area where the band was to perform. The train whistle and bell were so loud that it would have ruined the performance. Blowing the piercing whistle and clanging the bell is required of the train at all of the park entrances for safety. 

The train is part of the business of Nut Tree. It has to run! Well, maybe not.

VCS Radio Conservatory reveals their new world-class concert season (#33)



The VCS Radio Conservatory Presents 

The VCS Radio Explorer Ensemble
The VCS Radio Jazz Ensemble 
The VCS Radio Symphony  


Last year's projects represented a fantastic achievement for VCS conservatory students! Fans witnessed the groundbreaking film score to "The Lost World," the students' national recognition from DownBeat Magazine, and their excellent new album recorded at the legendary Fantasy Studios! With all that success, what's in store for year thirty-three?  

This upcoming season is the most challenging and exciting to date! We'll be celebrating the music of America's most noted  composer, Leonard Bernstein on his 100th birthday with "Symphonic Dances from West Side Story." We'll be performing the original 40-minute symphony of Johan de Meij -- based on Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings!" Of course, as is the tradition, the VCS Radio Symphony members select a musical work scheduled to be performed this season by the San Francisco Symphony. The students will attend their concert and then perform that same work themselves here in Vacaville. This year the students chose Richard Strauss' extremely challenging tone poem, "Don Juan!"  

Our season's grand finale will be the amazing Buster Keaton feature film, "Steamboat Bill Jr." with music by the VCS Radio Symphony LIVE.



Meet the VCS student composers of THE LOST WORLD -- World Premiere

Pictured above -- Part of the composition team for THE LOST WORLD!

The best action dinosaur movie was made in 1925. Who Knew??

Well, our VCS students did. They've just composed a complete original orchestral score for the one-hour-forty-minute feature film to be performed LIVE at Brenden Theatres August 13, 14, & 15 at 7:00 pm by our own VCS Radio Symphony!

The kids finished the complete film score composition requiring 43 separate cues! They completed the orchestrations in just over six weeks - not bad for kids :) This is the kind of stuff usually done by professionals such as John Williams! For kids, this is quite an undertaking, but they've had a lot of experience doing world-class projects! This is the VCS Radio Conservatory's 23rd historic musical score project ranging from researched restorations to full original compositions.

Daily orchestra rehearsals for the Lost World, ahead of the compositions, started in mid-June. They'll be working on logistics and putting in the last touches before the run-through rehearsal on August 13th in the morning at the movie theater. 

Of course, you can't have a proper action dino movie score without special sound effects! 

VCS RADIO SYMPHONY SCORES THE LOST WORLD August 13, 14 and 15 at 7:00pm - Brenden Theatres

VCS RADIO SYMPHONY SCORES THE LOST WORLD August 13, 14 and 15 at 7:00pm - Brenden Theatres
This summer, the epic motion picture, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, premiered in theaters as the latest action dino-movie. This summer, the VCS Radio Symphony students will score the original 1925 epic film, THE LOST WORLD by special effects master, Willis O'Brien (KING KONG). Under the brilliant and painstaking search, restoration and support of Lobster Films, Flicker Alley Films, as well as such organizations as UCLA and the Acadamy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This film has been restored with its' missing footage believed lost forever!  

ALERT: VCS Radio Jazz Ensemble's new album - Listen NOW

VCS Radio Jazz Ensemble released their new album, RELAXED INSANITY, recorded at the legendary Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA. The album was released at midnight Monday morning. You can listen to the entire album now.