The Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts returns with “Sounds of the Season”

The Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts winter vacation concert is titled “Sounds of the Season: Together Again.”

After a virtual show last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, organizers said it feels good to be together again for the holidays.

“It’s amazing to be able to be back in person and have the kids be able to perform and do what they love to do on stage in front of an audience,” said HBAPA administrator Stacy Robison. “A live audience is everything. They really stuck it out and did a great job with all of our virtual performances. They were so flexible and we really appreciated how much they always wanted to do it. But having them on stage in front of their friends and family and really thriving in their own environment, that’s it.

The Sounds of the Season show runs Thursday through Saturday nights at the Huntington Beach High School Theater. Tickets are available and prices range from $15 for students to $25 for adults.

The show is conducted by Gregg Gilboe and features the HBAPA Orchestra playing some holiday favorites and introducing their various ensembles. There will also be special performances from the APA Musical Theater Department, the MMET Department, the Surf City Singers and the Huntington Beach High Band and the Color Guard.

Students from the Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts Orchestra rehearse for the upcoming “Sounds of the Season” concert on Tuesday.

(Scott Smeltzer / staff photographer)

“Really, anyone can participate,” Robison said. “It’s one of our only shows where every department is involved. Each of our main stage shows is usually specific to this program, and this is where everyone comes together.

Additionally, Thursday night’s performance is a fundraiser for the Educational Enrichment Foundation for the Arts for the first time. Dwyer Middle School will also perform in the second act of Thursday night’s show.

“We hope they come to our high school and be part of our program,” Robison said. “To see them premiering on this stage is very exciting for them.”

Huntington Beach High senior Tien Lee is expecting a big show. Lee wears several different hats; she does filming and editing, plays the clarinet and is the band’s drum major.

“It’s been really chaotic, but I think we’re all very excited and excited,” Lee said. “It’s good to feel the energy again… Now that we’re in person, everyone’s a little surprised at how it feels to be back. It’s a good thing.”

Gregg Gilboe, director of the Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts Orchestra, leads a rehearsal on Tuesday.

Gregg Gilboe, director of the Huntington Beach Academy for the Performing Arts Orchestra, leads a rehearsal for the upcoming “Sounds of the Season” concert on Tuesday.

(Scott Smeltzer / staff photographer)

Isabella Rivette is another Oilers senior who works as a sound engineer in the HBAPA Technical Theater Program.

“It’s good to have the shows back,” Rivette said. “I want to continue sound engineering as a career outside of high school, so being able to get experience on set has been really nice.”

Not to mention that Rivette is a self-proclaimed Christmas lover who has no problem getting into the holiday spirit.

“I love watching all the different sets, especially because they do different variations of Christmas songs,” she said. “They are all dressed in festive attire. It’s really fun.”

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