The Ambassadors symphonic concert band is made up of dedicated sixth to twelfth grade music students from Buchser Middle School and other Santa Clara Unified School District students and communities nearby. The members plan a trip to Portugal and Spain in July 2011 and will be accompanied by their director, David Ladd Anderson, and chaperones.
The audience at their first fund-raising concert on January 20 was treated to an energetic, synchronized and well-played program of Mozart to John Williams. The Déjà vu jazz band, another extracurricular musical group directed by David Ladd Anderson, opened the evening with upbeat selections, including the music of jazz legend Herbie Hancock, which featured the group’s skilled soloists. Many of the Ambassadors are members also of Déjà vu.
What is unique about these youthful musicians is, they work very well as a groomed team. The players all are skilled, and encourage one another. The difficulty is that “there are fifteen students who can’t go for financial reasons.” It costs $3800 for one student to go on the twelve-day trip, and this includes most meals, etc. I feel very strongly that I want to take everyone who worked so hard to make the music sound so good,” says Director Anderson.
Rudy Korkic, a first time audience member, remarked, “They are really good. There is a lot of rhythm there. They are very coordinated,” as he clapped along to the sound.
The Ambassadors went on a goodwill trip to Japan in 2008 and were met with standing ovations.
“This trip will showcase the goodwill between us and Santa Clara’s sister city in Portugal, and to Spain, as well. If everyone can’t go, it compromises the quality a bit,” comments Dionne Clabaugh, Tour 2011 Chairman. The students are scheduled to perform in Coimbra, Portugal and in San Sebastian, Stiges, and Barcelona, Spain.
This trip is also a chance for some of the band members to go abroad for the very first time. As eighth-grader Adam Strauss enthusiastically explains, “I think it would be cool to go to other countries and see what it is like and play for them and see what they think about music!” His father, Bill Strauss, Board Member of the sponsoring Buchser Music Association, adds, ” We want to give every student the opportunity to be an Ambassador.”
Santa Clara Mayor Jamie Matthews, who attended the January 20 concert in the Santa Clara High School Theater, sums up the situation well: “Especially in these times, it is critical that the community come forward to provide opportunities for our children. The commitment and quality of these musicians at such a young age represents the boundless potential and superb instruction available in Santa Clara. They have the talent and ability. What they need is the community’s financial support to give them the opportunity to shine on behalf of all of us.”
If you missed the concert, CDs and DVDs are available for order online at www.buchsermusic.org at the “Fundraisers” page.
The upcoming fundraising event for the summer tour is “Omaggio” on Sunday, March 6, at the Santa Clara Senior Center.