Valencia High School Jazz to hold benefit concert for Saugus families

The Valencia High School Jazz Band will perform at Vincenzos on Nov. 20 for their "Songs for Saugus: A Night of Jazz" benefit concert. Terry Collier.

In the wake of the Saugus High School shooting on Thursday, the Valencia High School jazz musicians will hold a “Songs for Saugus” concert to benefit the victims and their families. 

The “Songs for Saugus: A Night of Jazz” concert will be held at Vincenzo’s Pizza in Newhall on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. The concert was initially meant to raise funds for the jazz programs at Valencia High School, but the music program then decided to give those funds to help the families affected by the Saugus shooting cover their medical bills and otherwise recover.

“The Hart District is a family and the music directors all know each other and collaborate, so our hearts go out to Saugus and the families, so it wasn’t even a question for us to donate that money,” said Terry Mitchell Collier, marketing representative for the Valencia High School band. “We all have friends at Saugus so we all made blue ribbons to wear at our competition on Sunday to show support. The band programs in Santa Clarita are a small, tight-knit community and it’s like the Valencia and Saugus band programs are cousins.”

Under the direction of jazz director Emilio Terranova and choir director Christine Tavares-Mocha, the VHS Concert Jazz Band, the Jazz Combo and soloists from the Valencia Jazz Choir will perform classic jazz tunes, contemporary favorites, and even some holiday songs. In an effort to help aid community engagement and healing, all Hart District jazz musicians are also invited to perform as well. 

“The entire Valencia High School community is devastated by the violence at Saugus High School, and like everyone in Santa Clarita, we want to help,” Terranova said in a statement. “Music builds connections — among those playing it and among those hearing it — and it’s our hope that we can both raise money for our friends at Saugus and bring some much-needed joy to our Santa Clarita community.”

In the face of the loss, grief and tragedy, Collier hopes that at the very least the concert provides a teaching moment for the students.

“The students have really been leaning on each other and it’s wonderful to see that they are able to support and talk this through with each other,” she said. “It says so much that through tragedy people are able to come together, and though it’s sad that this is what it took, it’s been incredible to see and be a part of this outpouring of support. This is an opportunity that the students can use their talents to give back and we hope that this concert is a way that we can help put some smiles on people’s faces again.”

The “Songs for Saugus: A Night of Jazz” concert is scheduled Wednesday, Nov. 20, at 6:30 p.m. at Vincenzo’s Pizza, 24504 1/2 Lyons Ave, Santa Clarita. Suggested donations are $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors, and Vincenzo’s will also donate a portion of food sales.

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