Irvine Performing Arts back under the spotlight

Meghaa Saravanan, Una Santos
Courtesy photo of VIMB

Marching Band

“What I enjoy most about marching band are the last few games and shows where everyone actually starts to bond and realize how much time they’ve wasted,” junior Cody Wang said. “I’ll always remember everyone from my section, even the seniors from my freshman year.”

Marching Band

“Marching band is also just another family,” Drum Major and senior Yoni Cohen said. “Everyone there wants to help one another and is there for the same reason, we love music and we love to perform and create extraordinary shows. Marching band is a support group that allows for anyone to join and for all to be accepted.”

Color Guard

“My favorite thing about color guard is when I catch a perfect toss, especially if practice has been hard and discouraging being able to catch a perfect toss is always the best feeling,”  team captain and senior Amber Lee said. “I will always remember our halftime shows, even though competition season is as fun, but just having all the parents and student support is so rewarding and them getting excited over our show makes me so happy and excited while performing.”

Image courtesy of VIMB

Color Guard

“I definitely enjoy getting to perform with my friends the most,” junior Amy Liu said. “I’ll always remember the San Francisco trip freshmen year, as well as our parade in Disneyland. Unfortunately, many of our field season plans this year were canceled because of COVID-19. We’re making up for it with a glamorous show for the winter season.”

Courtesy photo of VIMB

Jazz 1

“I enjoy the community in jazz. This year, now that restrictions are looser, we’re actually able to grow together as a band throughout the full three quarters of the year, so I’m looking forward to the rest of our year,” senior Tara Shafie said. “We’re all close to each other and it’s rewarding being a part of a family that all work together. I will always remember our trip to Reno three years ago because it was so fun to spend time with my friends and go on an adventure.” 

Jazz 2

“Some challenges COVID-19 presented were being separated from my friend who plays bass with me the whole year,” freshman Kohana Bird said. “I had to do everything on my own and that was hard for me because I always relied on my friend. However, because I was doing things on my own I improved on my playing and didn’t need to follow someone to play well.”


“The students are fun and the music is enjoyable,” instrumental director Bob Avzaradel said. “The smiles on the students’ faces when you can see them behind the mask is also great to see. Teaching orchestra is also wonderful, because you can see everything that students are doing as it’s all out in the open, compared to a wind instrument, when students are blocked by their aperture and whatnot.”

Philharmonic Orchestra

“My favorite part about orchestra would be playing music with my peers,”  concertmaster and senior Hannah Lee said. “I missed playing with everyone as a whole last year due to COVID-19, but now I’m really thankful everyone is back.”


“I love helping as many students make music as I can,” instrumental director Derek Venlet said. “We’ve had to make adjustments to our rehearsal space and the amount of time we can rehearse but the students have been very resilient and are happy to play together again.” 

Concert Band

“We have a concert coming up soon this December,” junior Ethan Liu said. “We will also be having more concerts throughout the year. I like concerts because they are usually when everyone sounds their best and everybody plays the best.”

Dance 4

“One thing I enjoy the most about dance is the community,” junior Medha Mohankumar said. “Everyone is so encouraging and accepting, which creates a comfortable environment. Something I will never forget is show nights. It is so much fun to perform the pieces that we’ve been working hard on for months.”

Photo courtesy of VIMB

Dance Ensemble

“I love learning new choreography, specifically different styles like tap and swing,” senior Amy Palm said. “Last year, there were multiple challenges resulting in us having a mostly online summer camp and a virtual show. Filming dances from multiple angles has made me a more conscientious dancer, and has definitely made me more grateful for in-person performances in front of friends and family.”

Image courtesy of Ashley Chu


“Singing with a mask took quite a long time to get used to. But this year, we are so happy and feel super blessed to have everyone back in the same room,” choir director Tina Peterson said. “Except for the masks, it’s really not that different. We’re trying to bring back the bits and pieces of what we’ve done without overwhelming the students.”


“I really enjoy the community, especially the connections we make in class, since Chorale is the biggest choir in our program,” senior Tylee Humphrey said. “You meet so many different types of people and make a bunch of friends you’d never thought you’d talk to. I’m really excited for our winter concert and the Voices concert.” 


“We’re quick to react, but we’re also quick to step in and help each other through tough times,” drama teacher Jonathan Mesisca said. “Drama also reaches out to people who don’t feel like they fit in. We have multiple genders, multiple ethnicities, we’re very well-represented, making it a safe space for everybody.”

Advanced Tech Theater

“The pandemic affected our department very hard, but especially myself, because I love this,” junior Donald Osborn said. “I was very happy that we could come back and do ‘Little Women’ last year. Adjusting to changes like masks and having to be six feet away from each other was difficult, because in tech theater, people have to be close together and be hands-on.”

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Irvine Performing Arts back under the spotlight