By Rex Garcia
In the afternoon once school has ended, most students go home, but some artists and athletes stay to improve their performance for the arts and sports. One of these artists, dedicated, happy and passionate, stays long after school to perfect her band work. Senior Noelle Villegas demonstrates consistently that she has what it takes to be a drum leader and advanced member in her band, and especially proves herself beyond school as she is one of the handful of handpicked members of the Gold Drum and Bugle Corps, a highly competitive non-profit corporation that aims to improve the lives of the public via the art of marching music.
Before becoming a member of the Gold Drum and Bugle Corps, Villegas would have no idea that she would be one of the eleven people to be accepted to be a part of the drum corps team. She had become one of the mallet percussion players who would play either the marimba or vibraphone and travel to competitions against other drum corps all summer. “I was very nervous and did not expect to get in,” said Villegas, “A lot of people audition and they’re the top open class drum core, but not a lot of people get in.” With this valuable opportunity, she has been able to further embrace her love for band. “I get to spend an entire summer doing something that I am very passionate about and I get to be taught by a lot of really good people. I love it,” expressed Villegas. As she continues to learn from them, her skill and appreciation for band will continue to grow from this honored opportunity to be apart of the Gold Drum and Bugle Corps.
Apart from her new opportunity, being a drum leader allows her to improve her and her bandmates’ skills and be the best role model she can be. “When I was a sophomore, it was really hard for me to understand what’s going on so when the other section leaders would help me. . .it was very helpful,” said Villegas, “I want to help people and help them grow because that’s like how I first started.” When she is not helping her teammates, she is always working to perfect and enjoy her own band music. “I practice one to two hours every day,” explained Villegas, “Technique is very important to me, and having a good attitude and making sure you’re having fun because if other people are not having fun then why are you even there?” As a whole, Villegas’ time in band has ultimately allowed her the pleasure of enjoying her four years in high school. “I know it’s made my whole high school career very memorable and I will always remember it. It’s very fun and you get to meet a lot of cool people here,” Villegas stated. Going forward, the team continues to work on their music, not only growing as a team but also having fun as a family.
Villegas has been a part of band most of her life and still to this day finds great enjoyment in the activity. Looking back at her last days in high school, she can agree with herself that her four years were worth the time. With the Gold Drum and Bugle Corps acceptance already encouraging her to pursue her career in the future, Villegas will continue to find delight in her life as being a part of a band will still be in her capabilities. Whether it is finding something to do or wanting to have fun, there is be bound to be something that will satisfy the life of any individual.
By Jillian Flack
As an abundance of people have found that singing can be a good outlet for self-expression, many others become interested in pursuing the pastime. For beginning singers, it can be quite difficult to learn how to sing correctly, often due to a wide range of factors. There are several different methods to help spot these mistakes and fix them, along with methods to help improve one’s voice.
When it comes to singing, a multitude of people make errors that can affect the way their voice sounds. These mistakes often have simple fixes that can help one to sound better. A common error is that beginners attempt to imitate the singing voices of professional singers. This can cause them to learn how to sing the music incorrectly, which can be difficult to correct. When this happens, one can fix it by having a vocal expert to teach them how to correctly use their voices. Once this problem is solved, singing often comes much more naturally to many. Along with imitating singers, many beginners can also find it difficult to produce the sound they are going for due to singing too loudly. This causes throat muscles to close up, making it much more challenging to sing correctly. If one maintains control of their volume, they can find more success in pursuing their singing passion and have an easier experience singing for longer periods of time. Another mistake that a large number of people often make is working their voices too hard. Senior Janine Cabaguas from Platinum FX said, “I guess, like, using your throat too much [is an issue for beginning singers.] That and straining too much. I guess if you overexert yourself then that just hurts. . .I mean, I guess people always try to, like, keep those high notes, but if you really feel yourself straining, that can hurt.” If one takes their singing training slow, it can help them to improve better than when working too hard. It can be difficult to sing with tired muscles because they can interfere with one’s ability to sing and can make it hard to perform at one’s best. While any of these methods can be helpful, one of the best ways to get better at singing is to stay patient. Cabaguas shared, “Learn some good techniques. Don’t give up. Just keep practicing because you’ll definitely grow in your voice if you keep exercising it.” One cannot become perfect in just a day of practice. Even the best singers had to practice frequently to get where they are today, so one will need to remember that it often takes plenty of time and effort to get better at singing.
Along with tips to correct errors, there are also a myriad of methods to help one improve their voice. Cabaguas stated, “I actually improved a lot by watching YouTube videos on singing. Of course, it depends on who you watch, but yeah, there’s some really good ones out there.” Videos can teach singers how to correctly use their voices, leading them to become better at singing. Junior Nicole Martinez from Platinum FX advised, “Trying to match pitch [is helpful when singing.]” Matching the pitch can help one’s voice to sound both smoother and stronger. This can be done by listening to the music one is singing to learn how they should sound. When this happens, one can sound more professional. Learning to match the pitch can take one a while, but it results in one having a better singing voice.
By following set-out steps, one can be led on the path to success in their singing. Even with these methods, one should practice often to make their voices sound stronger. Many find it quite challenging to sing in the beginning, but with plenty of practice, one’s voice can significantly improve.
By Gisel Flores
Photography is a hobby that numerous individuals, both young and old, find enjoyment in. For many people, photography allows them to have the opportunity to take pictures of things that spark their interest. For one student in particular, photographing and making videos of modified cars is a hobby that he takes much pleasure and pride in. Starting almost two years ago, Senior Graham Block has continued to learn new skills regarding film and photography, while also gaining many new opportunities that he never would have imagined.
Block first got interested in modified cars when he saw some images online which then led him to meet other people who shared this interest with him. Around this time, he also began to get into photography. Block said, “I put two and two together, and it just became a lot of fun.” When he first started his hobby, Block took photos of his friends’ cars and after time he began going to car shows and taking pictures there. Block often attends car shows such as Cars and Coffee, which is typically held every first Sunday of the month. Always making sure he brings his camera to these events, Block often looks for certain cars and modifications to photograph or even film, making sure that the lighting and angles are just right. After Block gets enough photos and videos at car shows, he makes sure to talk to those attending about their cars and any new modifications added since he last saw them. This allows him to meet new people and expand his knowledge of the cars he is interested in. The process for editing each photo usually takes him around fifteen minutes, as it consists of adjusting the brightness and contrast, hues, saturation, and sometimes adding filters onto the picture. However, the process of editing a video takes much longer, as Block explained, “Videos are a little bit more difficult because you actually have to go in and edit music into it and once you’re done with that, it goes through color saturation so videos take up about three to four hours to create a two minute video.” With all the hard work Block has put into his photos and videos, he has gained recognition from the people he looks up to, being featured on some people’s Instagram page. Block stated, “When you find your work on another page, it’s really humbling. . .I know it sounds kind of cliché, but it is really humbling when you put time and effort into something and people are giving you recognition for that. . .it’s really cool.” As far as future projects, Block plans on going on a shoot with a fellow photographer and videographer found who goes by EccentricTV on Instagram. For any person who is interested in starting photography, Block advised that they “always take advice from the people that know more than you because if you don’t, you’ll probably never end up improving. Always try new things, and don’t think that it’s the equipment that makes the picture. . .it’s what you believe you can make out of it.” Block added that he enjoys photography because it allows him to meet professional photographers, which gives him the opportunity to keep on learning about a subject that interests him the most.
Photography has opened up the doors of opportunity for many young people around the world. It has not only been a form of self-expression for photographers like Block, but it has allowed him to meet and interact with numerous others who share a common love for the work they do.
By Kylee Seamans
Due to the cold wind of the winter, a large number of people with acne prone skin or seasonal acne break out. If a proper and efficient skin care routine is not kept, the dry air can cause an overproduction of natural oils that will end up clogging the pores or can cause the skin to dry out and crack.
For people with dry skin, the weather often causes even drier skin than it would in the other seasons. Acne for dry skin can be fought with something as simple as a nourishing moisturizer or a sheet mask. In addition, a cleanser with no harsh or drying chemicals can moisturize the skin while cleaning it at the same time. Argan oils and other natural oils provide moisture for the skin and place healthy oils onto the skin, making it so that there are less harmful oils replacing the healthy oils.
However, this may not be the case for people with oily skin. The dry weather can cause many people with more oily skin to search stores for any type of oil-fighting cleanser to attack the excess grease. Drying cleansers damage skin more than they help, therefore when people with oily skin using a drying cleanser without also completing a proper routine afterward, their skin can generate more natural oils to try and replace the moisture that was taken out of the skin, leaving a further shiny complexion. If using an oil-combating cleanser, one should follow with a toner and light moisturizer. A product known for its skin benefits is witch hazel. “People use it as a toner but it also clears up acne really well,” said Freshman Sarah Stevers, a makeup artist for the play 1940’s Radio Hour. Witch hazel tightens pores while clearing dirt, bacteria, and excess amounts of oils from the skin. Stevers also recommended using organic products and to avoid using harsh chemicals such as parabens, synthetic colors, and fragrances that may damage a person’s skin. Another product that can be used is apple cider vinegar. One should use light amounts of the vinegar by applying it to the skin via cotton pad and watering down the vinegar to bring down the acidity, as well as coconut oil which a natural moisturizer has antibacterial and antifungal properties that can fight harmful oils and bacteria in the skin. It also helps combat brittle hair by providing healthy oils that are needed in hair. The cold winter air also further dries out hair, taking away its shine and leaving behind frizz. To fight frizzy hair, Senior Alexis Pereira uses argan oil. “I just put a little bit of oil in [my hair] to make sure that it’s nice, smooth, even, and [pressed] down,” she said. Moroccan oil, commonly known as Argan oil or ‘liquid gold,’ treats damaged hair from heat products while also leaving hair smooth and shiny.
Hair and facial routines vary for each individual. When attempting to find a routine that works, one should keep in mind that every person has a different skin and hair type and that they react in different ways when it comes to direct contact with a product. For example, while a person with more acne may have to use a harsher product designed to combat against their certain type of acne, the next person may need something more gentle to combat their skin problems, just like a person with curly hair will most likely use something that will aid their curls instead of a hair product made for straight hair. There is no right or wrong skin or hair care routine due to the extensive amount of skin types. Instead, one will need to find what works for them and their skin type.
By Jillian Flack
As winter break comes near, a great deal of students are looking for things to do during their free time. Having activities to do can help one fight boredom and connect with family and friends. There are countless activities that can be enjoyed both indoors and outdoors.
Indoor activities are usually preferred by students, often due to the cool weather outside. These activities are also enjoyed because many do not want to leave the comforts of their home. Freshman Isabella Herrera stated, “I prefer indoors because. . .it’s more cozy.” An abundance of people like to do activities that are indoors, such as having movie marathons. This can be more enjoyable if one has winter-themed snacks, such as hot chocolate, and holiday movies to watch. Even though movie marathons can be entertaining, baking can be an enjoyable activity that can keep one entertained for hours since it can exhibit the creativity. For many, this can be one of the most entertaining parts of baking with friends and family. Other than baking, playing board games can also keep a multitude of people entertained for hours since many people enjoy board games because they can show their competitive side to friends and family. These indoor activities can help keep a student entertained for several hours.
Although indoor activities are often found more entertaining, outdoor activities can be enjoyable for a great deal of people. Some of these activities include ice skating and having bonfires. Ice skating is an enjoyable activity that can keep one entertained for several hours and it can help people to learn a new skill. One nearby ice skating location is in Old Town Temecula, where an ice rink is set up every winter. This year, it is open from December 13 to January 6 and costs twelve dollars for admission and five dollars for rental skates. Ice skating can be a way to get together with others during the holidays. Other than ice skating, having a bonfire can also be an enjoyable and inexpensive experience for a great deal of people. To make bonfires even more enjoyable, snacks, such as s’mores can be roasted over the fire. Additionally, they are also enjoyable because they can be a good way for people to see the nature around them, which can often be explored due to the absence of cold weather. Overall, bonfires are enjoyed and can be a great way to stay entertained.
Having activities to do in the winter can prevent boredom since they are often enjoyed and many find them to be entertaining. Winter activities can also strengthen relationships with friends and family, which is often why students enjoy doing them with others. With these activities, people can stay entertained for a while.
By Jillian Green
Throughout American history, music has resonated in the souls of people and reflected on the culture of a society. Music is both a reflection of our cultural tastes and a cause of it. As discussed in an interview with world history teacher, Mrs. Jennifer Mohr, music is impacted by culture.
In the 1950’s and 1960’s, the Civil Right’s Movement and economic boom brought about the time of change. These changes were reflected in the music of the decade, while still being a part of their societal standards. R&B and Rock’n’Roll showed the racial tensions erupting from the Civil Right’s Movement. Mohr explains that music is “reflective of a certain time period, a certain genre… if you really look at it, it’s reflective of our people culturally, politically, and economically.” In the 1960’s, following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, the war in Vietnam, and the continuous procession of the Civil Right’s Movement, American culture changed. The British Invasion aroused when British bands singing covers of popular American songs. When the Vietnam War started to crumble America’s confidence in winning, Folk Rock and Protest Music rose with their concerns. Music changed fairly quickly in the 1960’s as it was a time of change.
In the 1970’s to 1980’s, deprecated peoples continued to fight for equality, and many Americans protested the ongoing war in Vietnam. The 1970’s was a time of punk, disco and society wanting to relax. Punk was about the concerns of society, but disco was about having a good time. The 1970’s were a unique time to develop new musical styles. Mohr discusses how music affects people,“There’s something in there that, you know, speaks to them in some kind of way... that’s the beauty of music, everyone can find something that speaks to them, no matter where they’re from or what they’re about.” Then came the 1980’s, with lingering problems in Vietnam, the economic crisis of the nation, and unsettling activity in the Middle East, it is no wonder rock and rap took hold of the music industry while disco slowly faded away. One of the most important influences in the music industry, MTV(Music Television) provided a huge impact on the popularity of certain kinds of music. Besides rap, pop music became extremely popular. Although MTV was reluctant to show music videos of black artists, rap was still able to become mainstream because of how many of its listeners related to the artist’s lyrics. As Mohr mentioned, “people were singing about what they were experiencing, and that became more widespread than people realized.” Rap and pop music still continues to be widespread genres of music even today.
From the 1990’s to today, pop, rap, and urban music have reigned at the top of the music industry As said by Mohr, “Well I think it’s obviously driven a lot by the internet and SoundCloud and the variety of ways people can’t get music out there.” Many teenagers take advantage of the opportunity to listen to anything and everything they want but do not realize how certain lyrics affect them negatively. Mohr expresses how music today is“more suggestive, and more violent, and I think that… it has made people very numb to certain things… generally speaking, music is a reflection of who we are as a people.” When considering the impact music has, it's important to see what music is doing to society and to America's culture.
BY JOUIE MONSALUD
Outside of school, Senior Heather Aaron runs her own slime-themed Instagram account and sells slime on Etsy. Intrigued by the growing slime trend, she began to develop her own mixtures. As she gained recognition for sharing this activity over social media, Aaron started selling the concoctions online.
Aaron began posting videos of her slime on Instagram around August of 2016 but initially was not invested in the activity. She became inspired, however, by others in the slime community to invest more time in the trend. “[A] YouTuber I watch made this fluffy slime tutorial video, and it was so satisfying,” said Aaron, “I had everything in my house to make it, so I made it. . .[That first formula] sucked, but it got me started.” Aaron’s niche Instagram account had been created for the purpose of sharing her creations, and it reached 1000 followers in November 2016. The account gained some popularity, and in just a year @starlitslimes was followed by approximately 45,000 people.
Part of Aaron’s popularity within the slime community is due to her willingness to experiment in order to get the perfect formula. “There’s no set recipe; I just wing it until something happens,” she said, “There are materials that do certain things though: cornstarch makes slime thicker, shaving cream makes it fluffy, [and] water makes it jiggly.” Since all of Aaron’s slime mixtures are made in a single batch, there is a guarantee that no other seller can reproduce her product. For those looking to experiment with slime, Aaron said, “Don’t feel discouraged if it doesn’t turn out great at first because nobody starts out knowing what to do.” For example, she said, “[With] the first clear slime I made, I thought I failed horribly and trashed it. . .If you add too much activator, it starts to become super hard putty and will break [and] when you’re mixing it bubbles start to form and it gets all cloudy. . .But you’re supposed to let it sit [for] a few days for it to clear up. . .I thought I just did mine wrong because mine was super hard like that, but if I had waited a few days it would have softened up.” She advised those interested in making slime to have patience and be willing to experiment.
When Aaron first delved into the world of slime, she did not intend to sell any of her creations. “I basically started selling it as an excuse for my mom to buy slime supplies, but people actually started to buy it,” she said. By late 2016, Aaron’s Instagram followers began to purchase her slime, much to her surprise. While at first she used Mercati as a sales platform, Aaron set up an Etsy account in January 2017 as more people began to order her products. Since then, she has made over 250 sales and has earned above a four star rating on the website.
Aaron continues to post pictures and videos that showcase her slimes, providing demonstrations of both experimental and finalized product formulas. She frequently updates her product catalog, which consists of slimes typically ranging from $7-8 each. Aaron can be found under @starlitslimes on Instagram and through her Etsy shop, StarlitSlimes.
By JILLIAN GREEN
There are many young artists, with big dreams and big plans for the future. Freshman Seth Battenschlag is one of them, he plans on taking his talent to the big screen as his style grows. Battenschlag has worked hard to improve his drawing talents over the years, and has been recognized by his friends and family as an incredibly skilled artist.
Battenschlag had first started to draw when he was “probably about four years old.” Although his style has changed greatly from when he first started out, his commitment to his dream has allowed his drawings to be exceptional in skill. He is a self-taught artist and interestingly, has not had any drawing classes prior to this year. Most of Battenschlag’s current works has appealed to his personal interests, as well as his inspirations from other artists. One of Battenschlag’s greatest inspirations is Tim Burton, who is well known for his peculiarly freakish style. Several of Battenschlag’s pieces reflects Burton’s creepy works, and most of his own drawings have the same effect. Besides Tim Burton, Battenschlag finds himself drawing, “a lot of kind of dark, twisted kind of stuff. Less humans, more animals and dinosaurs.” Battenschlag takes ideas from current shows like Stranger Things or old ones like Jurassic Park and integrates them into his drawings. Many of Battenschlag’s pieces can be found on his Instagram page, @p_h_i_l_0_s_0_r_a_p_t_o_r where he features his favorite artwork that he has done throughout his artistic journey. Battenschlag’s hard work and dedication to his dream has been rewarded by the recognition he gets both online and around campus.
Battenschlag hopes to go beyond his Instagram page and pursue a career at Silicon Graphics Incorporated(SGI) where he would be able to draw concept art and fully express his creativity for characters in movies he would be able to create. He said, “I want to do the SGI for movies, so when they’re doing the fiftieth Jurassic Park, I’ll be drawing up concepts for the dinosaurs.” Battenschlag would like gain money from his artwork throughout his high school career, when he has enough pieces to sell. For now, Battenschlag continues working on and improving his artwork and style.
Battenschlag has come a long way with his art. As he continues on with his high school career, Battenschlag plans on working to become a SGI artist and concept artist in Hollywood. He encourages other aspiring artists to work towards their goals and said, “follow your dreams. It doesn’t matter what you are trying to present or convey in your artwork, as long as you have fun with it.” If students are interested in seeing more of Battenschlag’s works, they can view his artwork on his Instagram page @p_h_i_l_0_s_0_r_a_p_t_o_r.
BY YALENA AGUIRRE
With pop music becoming more popular than ever, new albums from music’s biggest artists began to emerge. Musicians such as Selena Gomez, Camila Cabello, Khalid, and more have made their biggest sellouts yet with their newly released albums. One of the music industry’s most well-known artists, Taylor Swift, has also put out a new album this year. Released on November 10, Swift’s album Reputation was bound to appear on students playlists thanks to the album’s catchy beat and students pressing repeat on Swift’s most popular song on the album “Look What You Made Me Do.” Swift has undoubtedly produced upbeat music and popular tracks for everyone to hear. With Reputationbeing Swift’s newest album since the release of 1989 in 2012, fans were ecstatic about Swift returning with new music. Swift continues to please the crowd with her songs ranging from country to modern pop. “My favorite song from Swift’s album would probably be ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ or ‘Are You Ready?’ because they are the most catchy to me,” said Freshman Jordan Peters, a fan of the pop sensation. Peters elaborated that she has been listening to Swift’s music since she was a little kid and has always been into Swift’s older albums like Fearless and 1989. Freshman Eugenia Hernandez also expressed her liking to the artist’s new and old albums. “I’ve been listening to Taylor Swift since her country stage in her music, like her first album,” she commented. “I’ve heard some songs on Taylor’s new album, and overall it's a pretty good album.” Fans of Swift, old and new, have shown tremendous support for the pop star's new album, and surely Reputation is on the road to something new and edgier for Swift’s career in the music industry. Supporters of Swift have reacted positively to her new album after her three years of “silence” from the media and music industry. People were ecstatic about Swift’s new approach to her songs and her image as more modern and outgoing. “They [the media] may like her new album more because she is taking on a new persona,” said Peters, “Kind of an edgier approach to her music.” There is no doubt that Swift’s music years ago compared to now has drastically changed, but that does not stop people from listening to her. “Depending on the person they could either like her older songs or newer songs,” Peters added. Hernandez also included more about Swift’s new take on her career. “I think Swift’s album became so popular is because it’s something new with Taylor Swift.” She also included, “I also think people like her new album more because it’s almost like a revenge and edgy album, and people like drama, they like revenge.” Either way, fans have shown a great amount of support towards Swift’s change in her music as more edgy and modern.
Swift, a famous and successful starlet in the world of pop music, has undoubtedly made her biggest debut yet in her growing music career thanks to Reputation Supporters of Swift are satisfied once again with her upbeat and edgy tunes in her latest album.
ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT