Student band California makes Beverly debut

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Eleanor Bogart-Stuart, staff writer

A new, student-run band took the stage at Beverly on Tuesday during lunch. California, comprised of three Normans, plays covers of mainly alternative rock bands. Their performance featured songs like “Sail” by Awolnation and “Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?” by the Arctic Monkeys.

The band is headed by lead singer and guitarist sophomore Taylor Briggs.

“It was surprisingly easy to get together. I just found my bass player and best friend turned out to be my piano player,” Briggs said.

Bass player Stephan Kim is a junior, while keyboardist Marcello Terrasi is a sophomore.

“I joined basically as a favor for Taylor. I picked up the bass in middle school for orchestra. However, I was inspired by Geddy Lee of Rush to actually pick up and practice electric bass,” Kim said.

Briggs learned and honed his skills for guitar during his eight years at music school. Although he trained at school, his passion for music manifested thanks to father, Tim Briggs, who teaches photography at Beverly and has been in his own band before.

(From left to right) Kim, Briggs, Terrasi perform for a crowd at their Tuesday lunch performance. Photo by Elizabeth Del Rosario.
(From left to right) Kim, Briggs, Terrasi perform for a crowd at their Tuesday lunch performance. Photo by Elizabeth Del Rosario.

“My dad is definitely the reason I’m where I’m at right now,” Taylor smiled. “My dad was in a group called ‘Alabama’, so that’s where we got our name, just as a giggle. We might change it in the future, though.”

Taylor’s brother, drummer Benjamin Briggs, joined Kim and Terassi on the front lawn during lunch on Tuesday for their first performance for the Beverly student body.

“I live next door to Taylor’s girlfriend and parents. I’ve only seen him perform with his girlfriend Gabby playing the guitar, but this is the first time I’ve heard him in a band and sing,” adult neighbor Nina Cohen said of the band’s recent performance. “I was blown away by the band.”

California performed for the first time for students at the front lawn during lunch on Tuesday. Several kids photographed or filmed the impromptu gig.

“They obviously rehearsed a lot and I respect that. They were really concerned with how good the acoustics were and obviously spent a lot of time practicing everything,” sophomore Bennett Gershwin said.

As for upcoming gigs, California will play at Amplify, a club in Hollywood, on Feb.14.

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