Johansen High brings ’60s era to life through music, presentations

naustin@modbee.comMarch 26, 2014 



    PROFILES IN COURAGE: A 1960s Concert Experience


    5 p.m. dinner, 7:30 p.m. concert on Friday and Saturday


    Eleanor McKnight-Haines Theater, Johansen High, 641 Norseman Drive


    Tickets, available at the door, are $12 for dinner and concert, $8 for concert only. For information and advance tickets, contact Brad Hart by email at, or by calling (209) 202-4586.

Those too young to remember will present a tribute to the ’60s on Friday and Saturday nights at Johansen High. Alongside the musical numbers will be presentations of what teens learned this year while getting the event ready.

“We chose the ’60s because there was so much material that’s so important and so relevant,” said Brad Hart, Johansen director of instrumental music and the force behind this weekend’s dinner and concert events. History teacher Ann Amador helped develop the themes used in a wide swath of courses this year.

Called a 1960s concert experience, the program divides the decade into seven lasting legacies:

•  PRESIDENT JOHN F. KENNEDY – Musical number: “Eulogy for a Young American”; an emotional slideshow presentation on the president and the 1963 assassination accompanies the music.

•  THE SPACE RACE – Musical number: “Day in Space”; a student-created video of space travel accompanies the music.

•  MARTIN LUTHER KING JR. – Musical numbers: a selection of his favorite hymns, and the Viking Chorus singing the Beatles song “Blackbird,” written in 1968.

•  CESAR CHAVEZ – Musical number: “Al Pastor,” an original piece by Brett Abigaña; the program notes, recorded for the occasion by Abigaña and repeated in Spanish, will precede the performance. Hart said he commissioned the $1,500 piece for the event after finding no musical pieces about the farm labor organizer active in the 1960s. The piece threads fragments of the popular mariachi song of the same name through the melody.

•  CIVIL RIGHTS – Musical number: instrumental performance of the Beatles’ “Blackbird”; students will give readings and presentations around the theme of civil rights conflicts and progress in the 1960s.

•  WOODSTOCK – Musical number: “Soul Sacrifice,” by Santana, played by the Johansen jazz band; the song was a highlight of the three-day festival in August 1969 at Yasgur’s dairy farm in Bethel, N.Y.

•  VIETNAM – Musical number: “Piece of My Heart,” made famous by Janis Joplin; the letters of two nurses who served in Vietnam will be read.

Beyond the music and media, other disciplines have pitched in for the two evenings, Hart said, including “tie-dye” cupcakes from culinary arts and pop art from photo classes. Science classes picked up on the space race theme, talking about engines and rockets and other legacies of the day.

“Classes are talking about it,” Hart said. “It gives teachers kind of a reference point.”

Last year, the school did a tribute to World War II. Hart said teachers already are talking about a theme for next year.

Bee education reporter Nan Austin can be reached at or (209) 578-2339. Follow her on Twitter @NanAustin.

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