Commercial Music Class Rocks on

Hannah Lee, News Editor

Exposing students to modern, mainstream music and pop classics, such as Beatles songs, the Commercial Music Program at Diamond Bar High School aims to guide students toward futures in the professional music industry.

The Commercial Music Program not only focuses on students becoming performers, but also covers the different aspects of the music industry such as recording, electronic music, engineering and business. In the class, students build their skills in singing, playing their instruments, and learning how to develop themselves as artists.

“When you go out into the world, you have every facet available to you. You can build a career even if your direct path isn’t in front of you; you can make your own path in various ways,” Daryl Hernandez, teacher of the program, said.

Because of the variety that the program offers, students who are interested in the different aspects of music, other than performance, are also able to take part in the program, regardless of their skill level. The program is looking to add a fourth class period dedicated solely to music business and recording. It also recently had an investment approved by ROP for new recording equipment for the students.

The program was created when Hernandez had a live show for his previous program, House of Rock, which consisted of students from Chaparral and South Pointe Middle School. After the show, DBHS teacher Steve Acciani’s wife suggested that they should work with DBHS to develop a program within the school.

“Mr. Acciani was instrumental in getting me here and establishing me with ROP and helping me develop this program,” Hernandez said.

The group typically has three public performances per semester, each based on a single artist or band. Hernandez seeks artists that have a well-developed catalog and songs that the audience would recognize, in order to give them a point of reference of the students’ skills.

He also selects the program based on the artist’s musical depth, allowing students to develop analysis and musical theory skills that can later be applied to original songwriting. The students are also given opportunities to perform songs that they are passionate about. The group’s next performance will be on Nov. 10, featuring the music of classic-rock band Pink Floyd.

It’s pretty stressful at times because we have to get ready for performances and get everyone in sync, but when we pull it off right, it’s rewarding,” junior keys player Janet Maringka said.

Besides the many public shows that will be held at Diamond Bar throughout the school year, the Commercial Music program is planning to have an original song showcase at the Grammy Museum at Staples Center in May.

 The program  is also looking to collaborate with the video production class to create music videos, which Hernandez hopes to use to get gigs at trade shows, including one of the largest, NAMM (National Association of Music Merchants).

 “The end result is that they become original artists,” Hernandez said.