Mountain View High School musicians ready for Jolly Jamboree


Free concert to be held at the school’s gymnasium on Monday night

It is a celebration of music.

A celebration of unity.

And, yes, a celebration of Thunder Family.

Mountain View High School musicians cordially invite the community to a special performance on Monday.

Jolly Jamboree, presented by Mountain View Instrumental, will feature dozens, and at times, more than 100 musicians, performing in the school’s gymnasium in front of an audience. The extravaganza starts at 7 p.m.

A concert.

A show.

Whatever you want to call it, but the key is that it will take place in front of an audience. 

A big performance, featuring more than 100 instrumental musicians from Mountain View High School playing holiday favorites, is scheduled for Monday.

A year ago, many high school musicians across the state performed shows online. They found a new way to express themselves, using social media platforms to share their music.

Still, there is nothing like performing in front of an audience.

“Just the energy that comes from the crowd,” said Ruby Gunter, one of the many senior leaders who have been instrumental in preparing for the show. “They’ll know (the music) and hopefully they’ll be happy. That feeling as a performer is crazy and intense and it makes you feel happy, too. ‘Oh, I’m making a difference.’ Also, it’s an experience with your peers. It’s a sense of community. You have to work together for a common goal.”

Mountain View students rehearse in a classroom recently, preparing for Monday’s Jolly Jamboree. This is just a fraction of the number of musicians who will be performing at the concert. Photo courtesy Mark Claassen
Mountain View students rehearse in a classroom recently, preparing for Monday’s Jolly Jamboree. This is just a fraction of the number of musicians who will be performing at the concert. Photo courtesy Mark Claassen

Mountain View Thunder musicians who are in the band have played in front of football fans earlier this school year but this is the first concert.

This concert is not in the auditorium but in the gym, with more seating, and a better opportunity for social distancing, plus a chance to get all the musicians under the spotlight at one time. Masks are required for concertgoers.

There are two orchestras, a percussion ensemble, a wind ensemble, a symphonic band, and more.

“A lot of the credit should go to our teachers,” Gunter said, referring to Mark Claassen and Sam Ormson.

The teachers and students have been preparing for this show in their classrooms. They are expected to rehearse, all together, one time before the concert.

Concertgoers will recognize a lot of the music, if not all.

Gunter said she is excited to perform Michael Buble’s jazz-style arrangement of “All I Want for Christmas is You.” 

There are also Trans-Siberian Orchestra classics on the setlist. 

“People know these songs,” Gunter said. “It’s something everyone can get excited about.”

Mountain View High School senior Ruby Gunter, who has been playing the violin since she was 6 years old, is thrilled to be one of the musicians to perform Monday at the Jolly Jamboree, presented by Mountain View Instrumental. Photo courtesy Ruby Gunter
Mountain View High School senior Ruby Gunter, who has been playing the violin since she was 6 years old, is thrilled to be one of the musicians to perform Monday at the Jolly Jamboree, presented by Mountain View Instrumental. Photo courtesy Ruby Gunter

The promotional flyer for the event promises: A night filled with music, fun, and joy.

Gunter started playing the violin when she was 6 years old and has been in orchestra since the fifth grade.

“I’m constantly learning new things,” Gunter said. “Practicing required a lot of dedication and self control. It’s really a long-term commitment. If you work on it a long time, you’ll reach your goal.”

The discipline it takes to excel as a musician is similar to what it takes to shine as a student, Gunter said.

“It’s a really good thing to be able to see far into the future,” she said. “I’ll get there eventually.”

Just keep at it.

Today, she and her senior classmates are preparing for a final holiday concert as high school students. After all the Class of 2022 has been through — remember, this pandemic started when they were sophomores — Monday will truly be a celebration.

“I love Mountain View. It feels so connected,” Gunter said. “We have this saying, ‘Thunder Family.’ It sounds really cheesy, but I think it’s kind of true. Everyone there is a decent person. To represent all of them, that’s amazing to me.”

She and her classmates are looking forward to showing off Thunder Family to concertgoers.

“I love that the community can come and go, ‘Oh, this is what Mountain View is like,’” Gunter said. “It’s a good representation of what Mountain View is.”

Note: Many high schools are having holiday concerts this month. Please check each school’s website for more dates and times.

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