Abington High’s Rock Band Debut

Seniors showcase their musical talents

Xavier Curney, Dan Nunes, Mark Cellini, Aaron Christian, Mike Bergeron, and John Muniz

Allison Dennehy, Associate Editor

During period 6 last Thursday, January 18, about 100 students had a great break from the stresses of quarterly exams and midyear assessments when Abington High’s Rock Band class showcased their work from this past semester.

The Rock Band students who performed are all seniors: Mike Bergeron, Mark Cellini, Aaron Christian, Tim Cordeiro, Xavier Curney, Joe Maly, John Muniz, and Dan Nunes. 

Rock Band is a new class taught by Mr. Shannon, who also teaches chorus and media production classes. Rock Band is open to anyone in their sophomore to senior year at Abington High. They can have any range of musical talent.

The goal of Rock Band is to teach students basic instrumental and vocal techniques, improvisational skills, and music reading skills. Some of the things the students study are rhythm patterns, drum beats, guitar riffs, bass lines and song structures used in popular music to reach these goals. 

This particular class had a wide range in experience, from those who hadn’t played an instrument before to others who have gigs outside of school with their own band.

One student with music experience is Aaron Christian, the lead singer of a band called My Guilty Pleasure. Christian said that with his prior experience in a band, the class “really gave me a chance to explore different instruments and songs outside of my musical comfort zone.”

In the class, Christian said “I got to challenge myself and work with people who are not quite my speed and play music that is not quite my style.  It was really eye opening for me.”

The class was run in a way that allowed some of the more experienced musicians to help teach other students some of the basics. Mr. Shannon said, “It was great watching some of the students who hadn’t played an instrument before try something new. They went outside of their comfort zone and rose to the challenge.”

 I got to challenge myself and work with people who are not quite my speed and play music that is not quite my style.”

— Aaron Christian

In the class, each student rotates instruments and roles within each performance so they are all exposed to the guitar, the bass, the drums, the piano, and even the tambourine. With the freedom and flexibility offered in the course, one student Xavier Curney was able to integrate his previous experience performing with the Concert Band within the Rock Band curriculum.

Although Curney learned how to play the instruments used by his other classmates, he asked Mr. Shannon if he could play the tuba during the showcase, as it’s something he has been playing for years. The tuba stood out during the performance, as it is not usually associated with a rock band. 

For the event, the students had a lot of freedom and were allowed to pick the songs they showcased. The concert began with the song “Twist and Shout,” which was Mr. Shannon’s song choice. After that song, which every student in the class performed, the students broke up into smaller groups to perform.

One assignment the students had was to take a well-known cover song and make it their own. Aaron Christian, Dan Nunez, Tim Cordeiro, and John Muniz chose to cover “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong.

The audience was the loudest during the performance of “Redbone”, originally performed by Childish Gambino, as most students in the school knew this song. Mark Cellini was both the drummer and the singer for that song which is unconventional. Joe Maly also stood out in this performance with a piano solo to start off the song. 

The concert ended with a performance from the band My Guilty Pleasure. Seniors Aaron Christian, Tim Cordeiro, and Mike Bergeron are all members in the band. They performed their new single “They’ll Never Leave You Alone” which left members of the audience yelling for an encore. 

After a successful performance from this class, students and faculty are highly anticipating the next one. If you are a student interested in music or a challenge, Rock Band is a class that will push you to explore your range of musical talent. The rock band showcase is a required performance at the end of this semester-long course.