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Nov 28th
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Almost Famous

almost chaosLocal students compete to raise money for their school’s music program

It’s not every day that a 13-year-old Santa Cruzan earns $35,000 for his school’s music department. But that’s exactly what Jose Picazo did two years ago, and what he hopes to accomplish again in this year’s SchoolJam USA battle of the bands contest.

The now 15-year-old Picazo has entered the competition with his band, Almost Chaos. Out of 5,000 original entrants, Almost Chaos made it as one of only 110 semifinalists. The ranking is decided by a combination of public votes and scores awarded by a panel of judges. Thanks to their fans and supporters, the band is currently in 15th place. The top eight entrants will win prize money for their schools and advance to a battle of the bands in Anaheim.

Almost Chaos came together when the then 11-year old Picazo took a music class called “Be in your own Band,” offered by Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation. It was during these sessions that the young Picazo met Derek Mather, the band’s guitarist, and Mack Hesson, the band’s drummer. The boys began playing together outside of class and with the addition of Liam Gillespie on bass, Almost Chaos was formed.

Almost Chaos is well practiced at raising money. Aside from the SchoolJam competition, they’ve performed for a number of charitable organizations, including Jacob’s Heart, a foundation that raises money for children afflicted with cancer.

“A big part of being in the band, for me, is helping charities,” says Picazo. “That’s really important to me. It feels good to help.”

Despite his young age, Picazo is a passionate musician with high hopes for the band’s future. As high schools students, they’ve been able to raise tens of thousands of dollars for their community and the sky is the limit, as far as Picazo is concerned.

“Hopefully, in the next couple of years we can get signed,” he says. “We can get big…hopefully.”


Public voting will be open until Wednesday, Nov 30. To see a list of the competing bands and cast your vote, visit schooljamusa.com.

 

 

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We are in the time and under the influence of Sagittarius, sign of the wanderer, good food, good music, and the joy (Jupiter as ruler) that occurs from giving to others while simultaneously giving thanks from our hearts. Having the Thanksgiving holiday during the month of Sag is not a mistake. No other sign understands joy (an aspect of the Soul) as Sag (except Pisces when not in despair). “Sag is a beam of directed and focused light. The beam reveals a greater light ahead, illuminating the Way to the center of the Light,” emitting the Ray of Joyfulness. Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude; in the form of prayers, thoughts, feelings, wishes, hopes and greetings. Gratitude is something we still need to learn. Gratitude creates goodwill. Together, gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution” for humanity and our world’s problems. Gratitude and goodwill are the prerequisites for the reappearance of the Christ, the Aquarian World Teacher. In Ancient Wisdom texts it is written, “being grateful is the hallmark of one who is enlightened.” Gratitude comes from the Soul—the characteristics of which are love and wisdom (Ray 2). Gratitude is scientifically and occultly (mental, not emotional) a releasing agent. Gratitude liberates us and everything around us. Also a service to others, gratitude is deeply scientific in nature, releasing us from the past and laying open our future path leading to the new culture and civilization, the new laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarian, the Age of Friendship and Equality. The Hierarchy lays much emphasis upon gratitude. Let us be grateful this year and this season together. And so now the days of light illuminating the darkness begin (December’s festivals and feast days). Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I am grateful for all of you, my readers.

 

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