CALIFORNIA CITY — Last Friday evening at 7 p.m., Dr. Darrell Thompson, Musical Director for California City High School, and some of his best and brightest musical students performed the fifth annual Winter Concert for a large crowd of Cal City parents and residents, all of whom packed into the CCHS gymnasium for another stunning performance like last year. They were not disappointed.

This year’s concert concentrated on smaller groups of musicians in ensembles, and one stunning solo pianist performance that stole the show, rather than the entire band all at once. The change up worked well.

The show started out with solo and chamber ensembles performing “Overture from ‘Music for the Royal Fireworks’” by Handel. Then came yet another show-stopping performance, totally unexpected nor advertised. Just as last year, somehow CCHS has produced another stunning solo pianist, as if they simply fall off the trees at CCHS.

Last year the entire auditorium went silent for the stunning performance by piano wunderkind Nuri Balderrama. This year they did it again for CCHS’s latest uber-talent, Perion Johnson, who belted out a show-stopping rendition of “Journey” that just shut the house down for the song and elicited massive applause for this latest CCHS piano wunderkind. Whatever they’re putting in the water over at CCHS, just keep doing it. Amazing. They closed out with a rendition of “O Holy Night.”

That was followed by the Ravens Choir performing “Never Enough” from the 2017 film “The Greatest Showman.” They then performed “A Million Dreams,” closing out with a spot-on rendition of the all-time classic “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”

The show then stopped for a few minutes for the annual raffle of baked goods and gifts that help raise funds for the CCHS music program, which is always a success.

The show then began again with the Ravens Beginning Band performing the German folk song “Meet the Musicians,” which was followed by “March Across the Sea” and “Banana Boat Song.”

The Wind Ensemble closed out the concert performing four booming classics, including “Air and Caprice,” “First Light,” “Dorian Rhapsody,” and ending with the Christmas classic “Sleigh Ride” to close out the show.

Another wonderful showing of the seemingly endless pool of talent found at CCHS Musical Department and its gold miner, Dr. Darrell Thompson, who keeps finding nugget after nugget of untapped talent in our local youth. Most impressive!

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