By Cassandra Gallegos
The up and coming band Class Dismissed is made up of Gabrielino High School’s very own teachers and staff members. Attendance clerk Kevin Weir kills the skins, while math teacher Eric Hoenigmann and registrar Ruben Arteaga both shred on the guitar. English teacher Joe Cichy jams on the rhythm guitar as choir director David Pitts provides a rich bass.
Together, the band unites in harmony to execute fantastic covers of ‘80s rock ballads and give off good vibes on campus. Forming a band was a frequent idea the other members had talked about for some time. When Pitts came to Gabrielino, he took the initiative to get the group of staff musicians together.
“I’ve been interested in music my whole life,” stated Pitts. “My dad is a singer so I grew up with music.”
Each musician from the group used to be in a band when he was young, so it only made sense that the men would come together to make music.
Most of their Thursday afternoons are spent together for a one to two hour rock session. Each musician is in charge of learning the material on their own before practice, but once they start to play, the musical magic takes place.
“Performing is great because you get to wear the skin you don’t usually get to,” shared Arteaga. “It gives you an opportunity to be in the skin you are most comfortable in.”
Each member looks at the band as a way to not only express themselves musically, but to entertain the students and staff of Gabrielino. They hope that their music will encourage a larger music scene on campus as well.
“We want to spark an interest in music,” Weir exclaimed, “and inspire someone to pick up an instrument and play.”
Class Dismissed livens up the campus with music for everyone’s tastes. From rock music, such as “Blitzkrieg Bop” by the Ramones, to pop punk tunes, such as “All the Small Things” by Blink 182, the staff band has played it all. Currently, the band is looking into widening its music genre range by aiming to perform songs from the ‘90s.
“Having the staff band play at lunch is refreshing,” stated Lucy Chen, senior. “It’s different from my usual taste.”
As of now, the band has only played at Gabrielino, but looks forward to playing at other venues. The group hopes to get a gig in Pasadena some time in the near future.
Suggest songs for Class Dismissed by filling out the form sent to each student’s SGUSD email.