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“I was just amazed at the diversity of experiences we were able to have under him,” recalled former student Michael Caldwell, now a university music professor. “He did it all and he did it very well. The school district was getting three employees for the price of one.”. He went beyond the curriculum to model character, and he enforced his high standards with tough love. Caldwell recalls once sneaking into the back of the room after class had started by hiding behind his friend, a tuba player. He only realized his cover had been blown when Cross docked his grade.
“He uses a lot of dance steps that make the production very lively and entertaining,” McConnell said, Making the music come alive is the Oakland East Bay Symphony under the direction of Michael Morgan, “Michael’s glorious music along with the Mt, Eden (High School) ballet slippers drawing easy Women’s Ensemble brings such richness to the production, and then you add the magnificence of the Paramount Theatre and it becomes an event to remember,” Lustig said, Also adding to the richness and fun of the production are the more than 40 student dancers, aged 7 to 17, who dance such roles as snowballs, mice, soldiers and candies..
Those results were on display throughout Sunday’s enjoyable program, which mixed 19th-century works by Rossini, Grieg, Saint-Saens, Suppé, and Borodin with Ravel’s early 20th century showpiece. Cabrera saved the best for last. His “Bolero” was elegant, powerful, and he drove it like a luxury vehicle. His command of dynamics was impressive, rising from a mere wisp of sound to a thunderous finale. Ravel’s rhythmic structure, often hammered out in lesser hands, came across with marvelous nuance. Every section contributed mightily, and every soloist seemed a key player. Flutist Monica Daniel-Barker, clarinetist Steve Sanchez, oboist Laura Reynolds, bassoonist Douglas Brown, saxophonist David Henderson, and percussionist Victor Avdienko were among the standouts.
DEAR CAROLYN: Do you have any advice for approaching or responding to the topics of body image, healthy eating and exercising with my tween daughter? Her body’s changing, and once in a while she laments the changes — nothing I’m concerned about, normal stuff, I also see these (relatively infrequent) comments as an opportunity to broaden the discussion from “looks” to feeling good and healthy ballet slippers drawing easy and taking charge of your physical and emotional health, I wish my mom had taught me more, so I didn’t have to figure it out myself in adulthood, but I also have friends and a sister who’ve suffered from eating disorders, so I am so sensitive about discussions surrounding body image, food, exercise, etc..
Her velvet contralto has taken on an appealing edge in recent years, adding an aural dimension to her phrasing’s biting wit. While she can make big musical gestures, holding a long note at the end of a phrase or dramatically clipping a consonant, she’s really an anti-diva. West keeps the focus on the songs and would rather talk about the artists who made them famous than about herself. Part of the pleasure of a West performance comes from knowing her affinity for particular song categories and marveling at her ability to fill the requisite slots with fresh material. She opened a recent performance with Papa Charlie Jackson’s “Shake That Thing,” a 1920s classic that satisfied the lascivious double-entendre blues slot (it’s actually more of a single-entendre song, one recorded 50 years ago by the proto-Grateful Dead band Mother McCree’s Uptown Jug Champions).