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Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: An adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Victorian horror classic. Nov. 22-23, 29-30, 8 p.m.; Nov. 24 and Dec. 1 at 2 p.m. Special midnight show Nov. 29. West Valley College Main Stage, 14000 Fruitvale Ave., Saratoga. $10 students/seniors; $12 general. 408-741-2058. Acoustic Open Mike: The South Bay Folks Acoustic Open Mike is open to all acoustic musicians, singers and songwriters. Everyone gets an equal chance to play and the evening runs at a brisk pace. Thursdays, 7 p.m. Santa Clara County Parks & Recreation, 298 Garden Hill Drive, Los Gatos. southbayfolks.org/calendars/giglist.html.
Saratoga History Museum: Exhibits focusing on local history, Admission and parking are free, Museum is open Friday-Sunday, 1-4 p.m, 20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road, 408-867-4311 or saratogahistory.com, Saratoga’s Got Talent: An opportunity for all Saratogans to share their talent and have a good time, Live musical performances, dance, karaoke, stand-up comedy and more–just about anything goes, Kids perform the first hour, and adults after, Every month has a different theme, First and third Friday of each month, 7-10:30 p.m, Blue Rock Shoot, 14523 Big Basin Way, Saratoga, Check for event updates at facebook.com/ValleyTalent or subscribe to the how should pointe shoes fit email group, groups.google.com/group/ValleyTalent, saratogatalent.com..
Sing with Mission Valley Chorus: Are you a woman who loves to sing? The Mission Valley Chorus invites you sing with the choir any Tuesday, 7:15-10 p.m., at Nordahl Hall, 580 W. Parr Ave., Los Gatos. For more information, visit missionvalley.org. Al-Anon Meeting: A group for relatives and friends of alcoholics to share their experience in order to solve their common problems. Mondays, 8 p.m., St. Andrew’s Church, room 42, 13601 Saratoga Ave., Saratoga. Free. scv-afg.org or 408-379-1051. San Jose Widows and Widowers: Join the group for breakfast and learn more about the association every Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. Goodies Coffee Shop, Bascom and Apricot, Campbell. 408-279-1278.
Suddenly, the mass of brass instruments and woodwinds, drums, cymbals and bells burst into the group’s jubilant signature opening how should pointe shoes fit half-time show drill, As the dress rehearsal got underway, former Band Director Orrin Cross watched his legacy with a mixture of pride and nostalgia, “It was not all in vain — it’s continued, it’s growing, and that’s healthy,” he said, his voice cracking, Still sprightly at 80, Cross poured 25 years of his life into building a handful of inexperienced musicians into this 160-member award-winning machine that has earned accolades far beyond Pittsburg, The band has performed at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and will appear in London’s New Year’s Day Parade in January, Cross also was honored last month for his accomplishments in the performing arts as one the first inductees into the Pittsburg Entertainment &Arts Hall of Fame..
But even more significant than the plaques and trophies are the ways he shaped students’ lives and created happy memories that remain with many to this day. Sporting an Afro and full beard, Cross arrived at Pittsburg High in 1973 with graduate degrees in music and drama and an infectious enthusiasm. The school’s music offerings had dwindled to a small choir, one guitar class and a marching band with only seven musicians. That first year was a tough one: Some players didn’t know how to march in step to a beat, use the correct fingering on their instruments or even how to read music.
“It was starting from scratch,” said Cross, who embraced the challenge, “We recruited like a madman,” he said, “We would take everybody and anybody, how should pointe shoes fit If you could carry an instrument, you were in.”, By the time of the first football game, the band had quintupled in size, The following year, Cross further raised its profile by having members attend all out-of-town games, and with newspaper coverage of the changes afoot it wasn’t long before the group that many hadn’t known even existed was a hot ticket on campus..
An esprit de corps took root as teens hung out in the band room, forming relationships with Cross and one another that offered comfort for those from troubled homes. “For many of the kids, (drama and band) was the best thing they had in their life,” he said. Over the years, Cross also formed two jazz bands and three concert bands, coached students in music theory after school and spent hours choreographing marching routines, including the opening and closing drills that remain a revered tradition at football games.
By the time he retired in 1998, the marching band, affectionately called The Pride of Pittsburg, had evolved into a showcase of how should pointe shoes fit musicality and dance moves that had entertained 61,000 college football fans and all but swept the awards at Arizona’s Fiesta Bowl National Band Championship, Cross’ uncommon breadth of abilities also led him to restore the school’s drama classes, which had disappeared by the early 1970s, In addition, he introduced a course that covered everything from building and painting sets, rigging scenery and using light and sound systems to makeup and costume design..