Friday, May 10, 2019


King & Queen!
Until recently, I hadn't done a high school prom in over 25 years. Not that I have anything against them, but it usually involves lighting and trusses that I just don't usually use. I helped out a friend a few years back and they probably had $30,000 worth of lights, monitors, trussing etcetera that would be overkill at my usual weddings and corporate functions. They even had a videographer and video tech for live streaming. Very cool, but four people (five with me) and a full day's worth of setup is a bit beyond my mission statement. Not that I don't have the sound mind you- I do regular parties each year for 1200+ people and my speaker setup rocks, but I just thought I'd stick with what I excel at: weddings and company parties.

But when my daughter's high school recently asked if I'd consider deejaying their prom, I said yes.  Why, you may ask? I'll tell you my reasoning...

First, their deejay last year, in their words "just plain sucked".  It's a small school, so their budget wasn't enormous, but come on!

Second, my daughter was attending as a junior. I wanted it to be a phenomenal experience for her, and a huge plus: she could help me spin tunes and make announcements :)

Finally, I had the full support of the administration and of the student committee. Having experienced a poor deejay, they wanted to make sure that this prom was perfect. I had the students pick out songs and was in constant communication with them throughout. Nothing is worse in a teenage setting than not getting their music right.
Good looking bunch!
When the day arrived, their venue, Hidden Valley Country Club was decked out far beyond what I expected to see. Dedicated teachers and students had spent all day decorating and it showed. It is a small school but they have more heart than their size would indicate.

Soon juniors and seniors began to arrive, decked out and ready to party with their classmates. Hidden Valley, doing exceptional work as always, put out a nice buffet and soon the kids were eating and getting their portraits taken and class pictures out on the veranda.

When the dancing began in earnest, it really never stopped. I love this generation! They love new music, but are just as comfortable with older stuff from the 90's & 2000's and lots of other songs that have become famous just because of memes. I projected several memes on the walls, which just fired them up even more!  I mean, it's a little unreal when you play a John Denver song that my hippie 2nd Grade teacher played on his dulcimer back in the '70s and all these high schoolers know the words and sing along at the top of their lungs! Very fun crowd!  And since a third of the school is hispanic, I was able to delve deeply into a variety of latin music- everything from Banda and Cumbias to contemporary stuff. A big shout out to Felipe Leon for educating me in a lot of the songs that were requested and played. He is the premier Latin DJ in Northern Nevada and a helluva DJ for us jueros as well ;)
My daughter Rickrolling her class!
It was great seeing my daughter take control, making announcements and reading the crowd. But I spun the majority of the music so she could be out on the floor dancing with her classmates and friends. When the King & Queen were announced, they "Danced on a Cloud" like my brides and grooms do for their first dance. And while my lighting might not be enough for 1000-person proms at the Convention Center, it filled Hidden Valley and then some.

Moral of the story: don't be afraid to venture out of your comfort zone. I went out of mine, had an absolute blast, and they said it was the best prom the school had ever had. Can't wait for next year!