Musicians and Where To Find Them

Ariel Cooper, Co Managing Editor

The loud crash of drums surrounds the theatre, each bang of slender wood against hollow cylinders racing to match the heartbeat of the player. The lobby is filled with the echo of a large, yet sweet voice, so enticing it pulls the listener into the golden seats to join the audience. The guitar’s electricity creating a wave of energy moving from the metal fiber of the strings across the stage through the air to the deepest part of one’s body, as if the strings shot out of the guitar and punched straight through the heart and evaporated into fire. 

This is the magic Lasagna Island brings to the Valenzuela Theater’s stage every week. The band’s lead singer and founder, junior Kiana Nino, shared her experience putting together the band and the musical process the band goes through. 

Nino was inspired to start a band this recent summer due to a lack of theater, her usual favorite activity. 

“I was like, ‘I play an instrument, and a high school band has always been the biggest dream of mine, like in the movies’ and I kinda just went for that,” Nino says. 

She then decided to look for other musicians who might also hold the same dream, and she found three juniors right here at Pres. Their bassist, Rowan Brush, had never played bass before and only learned once she joined the band. Sri Bala has played drums for a few years, and Stephanie Guastaferro is their talented keyboard player. 

Unfortunately, the same luck Lasagna Island had finding these members does not apply to other guitarists. The band has been through four guitarists, most from Bellarmine, and are currently looking for a seventh. 

Lasagna Island is currently developing a new name and a new style of “fifties sound and punk rock vibe,” as Nino puts it, and looks forward to concocting this alternative sound. 

However, Kiana Nino and her band are not the only musically talented students at Presentation. According to a recent survey The Voice sent out to the student body, the school houses many different kinds of musicians, from violinists, pianists and guitarists to vocalists, percussionists and trombonists. 

Many of these musicians believe that Presentation has empowered them in their craft through different opportunities to take part in. 

Sophomore Mrudula Chodavarapu says that Pres supports musicians through “having concerts and opportunities for students to showcase their talents.” 

Freshman Hannah Tsukamoto agrees with her, stating “I like how Pres offers AP Music Theory to take as a class. This lets advanced musicians to improve and get college credit for doing something they love.” 

Of course, there is always room for improvement. Students suggest publicizing the opportunities offered more, more diverse classes and developing music clubs. 

Freshman Rachel Morales offers, “Pres could introduce a culture based band… a band led by culture and passion,” that would unite the musical part of culture that is currently underdeveloped here at Presentation. 

School should be a place of creativity and learning, something many students across the country find rare. At Presentation, students have found a place that encourages both.