Musical Production hosts Exquisite Celebration


Junhee Ryu

Junior and musician Caleb Ong poses with pit orchestra teacher Kyle Traska during their walk on the purple carpet.

Benjamin Kim and Junhee Ryu

Not many school events are as exclusive as Portola’s inaugural Musical Gala that took place on May 24, an event that celebrated students involved in the musical production as a part of the cast, pit orchestra or stage tech. Each member was allowed to bring one guest. The main purpose of the gala was to host a viewing of a recording of the musical, which was performed months ago in March.

“I really advocated for the tech crew and the orchestra who never got to see it,” pit orchestra director Kyle Traska said. “It’s extra work on our part, a little bit of planning to turn into a fun new tradition that we can do here at Portola for all of the students in the theatre department. My vision was like a Hollywood red carpet walk or a movie/TV show premiere where everyone working on it has an exclusive screening… everyone recognizes the the scope of how many students were involved in the musical.”

The gala attire was formal, with students wearing tuxedos and dresses to make the event more special and meaningful. The Gala’s reception area offered attendees a wide variety of snacks and desserts as well as a drink bar before the show. Similar to movie premieres, the Gala featured its own red carpet (except purple).

“My favorite part was just being together as just this big, talented family and being able to reflect and appreciate all of our hard work,” percussionist and freshman Salomon Sepulveda said. “I think they should do this again.”

Prior to watching the musical, each of the teachers involved in the production shared opening remarks about the students’ progress and how the play impacted the local community. 

“This is about creating something that’s bigger than any one person in the room. We provide all of our efforts, all of our talents, all of our energy, all of our sleep – or lack of sleep – all our stress. The product that we get is greater than the sum, that something’s really special that doesn’t happen in many places. You always come out much higher than you were before,” Adrian the choral teacher Rangel-Sanchez said.