An orchestrated light show

The Fine Arts Department acquired professionalized recording equipment to help a fellow Sequoit during the holiday season.

Chloe Barbarise

More stories from Chloe Barbarise

Rules and regulations
December 16, 2022

Jacob Slabosz

Orchestra director Michael Riggs directs the orchestra as they take advantage of their studio-quality recording equipment.

As the holidays inch closer, preparations have begun. Since last year, senior Daniel Dadivas and his family have been configuring a holiday light show in their backyard. The only problem was the complete and utter silence; Dadivas then proposed a solution to orchestra director Michael Riggs.

Dadivas and Riggs co-composed pieces arranged in a plethora of holiday songs into a musical mashup for the orchestra to perform; they used a piano arrangement from William Yao and altered his ideas to create the piece. It took two days of recording and is something no other school has accomplished before with this equipment.

“We were able to record this project the same way that soundtracks for movies are recorded,” Riggs said. “We had three microphones on the orchestra, but the really cool thing was that we had each musician on headphones listening to a click track.”

The new recording equipment allowed for effortless synchronization, and everything worked seamlessly. For Dadivas, his anticipation was insanely high.

“This was the first time I had to coordinate a light show, compose orchestral music and record music using this technology,” Dadivas said. 

For all involved, it was a newfound experience. Although a lot was going on at the time, it was enjoyable for all involved.

Seniors Ravyn Edran and Arianna Guerra participate in the recording. Players listened to a click track in order to stay in time. (Jacob Slabosz)

“There were so many wires and cords in the room; it was like a maze,” senior Ravyn Edran said. “[However], it was really fun getting to do this project, and I hope to do similar ones again in the future.”

Like Edran, Dadivas also hopes to continue projects like this one, but it sometimes grows difficult when attention is not received. However, the project was a success for the department, and all that is left to finish is the mixing and post-production work; then, it will be complete.

Though it may seem minor for some, Riggs could not be any prouder of the students included in the process. 

“I think the sky’s the limit,” Riggs said. “The kids are continuing to play better and better; we’re all getting more experience doing different things, and we have the tools to put together a lot of different kinds of products in a lot of different media.”

The light show can be seen by going to Neu Haven in Antioch, turning right at the intersection of the entrance and stopping at the second light show on the main street of the subdivision. Then, all that is left to do is tune the radio to 104.1 FM and enjoy.