The annual Imagine concert in February was all about sharing music with students by students. Both the Matilija Junior High School and Nordhoff High School music students performed to a crowd of close to 500 local Ojai and Ventura-area elementary students.
This year a special highlight was a guest appearance by GRAMMY Latin Jazz winner Nestor Torres, who performed for the students and a surprise improvisatoin session along side the student musicians.
Photos courtesy of Kirby Russell.
“We got to experience the excitement of improvising real jazz on the spot with an amazing player, as well as learn to listen to each other and share the spotlight to create music of our own. It also taught us to push our bodies in what we thought we were capable of doing and showed us that, just like anything else, music can be a form of communication that gives us a voice to speak our own message.”– Noah Byle, 12th grade, Nordhoff High School
“The Imagine concert is a wonderful part of the musical culture of Ojai! The middle school performers remember attending the concert as elementary school students. They tell me with a great deal of enthusiasm about the performances they watched, and they are proud to now be part of the show. In turn, their collaboration with the high school students give them a taste of the next level of musicianship. To top it all off, the guest performers never cease to expand our idea of what is possible.” — Thomas Fredrickson, Matilija Junior High School Music Director