The student news site of Morton East High School

Pony Express News

The student news site of Morton East High School

Pony Express News

The student news site of Morton East High School

Pony Express News

More than 150 students keep the beat going at Morton

At Morton East, we have 162 students attending music classes.

According to the music teacher, Mr. Toms, there are 24 students in the concert band and 13 in the jazz band. According to the other music teacher, Mr. Cervantes, there are 90 guitar students, 9 choir students, and 26 mariachi students.

When questioned on what performances Mr. Toms and Mr. Cervantes are preparing for, they answered with the following.

“Jazz band is practicing for Black History Month, and all the ensembles are getting ready for the March 7th spring concert,” said Mr. Toms.

Mr. Cervantes answered regarding his students: “There are many performances throughout the semester we are preparing for. All of our ensembles will be performing at the Spring Concert on Thursday, March 7th. The mariachi will be performing in mid-February at Roosevelt Elementary School in Cicero for one of their assemblies. Mariachi and choir will also be making a guest appearance on opening night at ‘The SpongeBob Musical’ on April 18th and at our Festival of the Arts at Morton East (FAME) on April 19th,” said Mr. Cervantes.

Going off that, I questioned them if there is a student they believe is the best singer, in their opinion.

“I think all ensembles have strong singers based on the music type. Brenda Rivas in mariachi – Irina Vazquez in Jazz Band,” Mr. Toms said.

Mr. Cervantes gave his opinion on which student in the music department has a good singing voice.

“I can’t say who has the absolute best. Several people in the music department have strengths and weaknesses with singing but also sing in different styles that are incomparable. Nonetheless, there are many talented students who have great singing voices. Our concert choir features top-notch singers, but if I were to give a shout-out, it would be Brenda Rivas. She is not only a talented violinist but has been a strong singer since she joined Mariachi los Jinetes,” Mr. Cervantes said.

Our music teachers are also performers, playing in bands, composing music and recording in studio.

“Yes, I play in a couple of different bands and I write my own music,” said Mr. Toms.

Alongside Mr. Toms, Mr. Cervantes answered the question of what he does relating to music.

“As a music teacher, it can be difficult to keep up with our own practice. I try my best to practice every other day for at least 30 minutes. When I practice at home, I work on violin techniques and Mariachi repertoire. I also practice guitar at home and sometimes during class with the guitar students. Other outside endeavors of mine include performing on the weekends with my father’s group, Mariachi Ameca, and others. I also record violin for studio recordings. Finally, I’m working on a podcast with my brother where we discuss Mariachi music and culture,” said Mr. Cervantes.

So, be on the look out for their upcoming East performances like the March 7th spring concert or the music department’s “SpongeBob the Musical” on April 18th to April 21st.

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