Over the last month I have highlighted the successes of some of the youth in Highland and beyond.

I believe that we must never forget where we have came from or become unfamiliar with the history that has made our community what it has become today.

However, it would be remiss for us to not acknowledge the talent and resiliency of our youth. It is these individuals who will forge their way to create the community of tomorrow.

This week, I would like to focus on an all-girls band, whose members live in Highland and other parts of the Inland Empire, Viridian Lights.

The members are Elizabeth Rivera, lead vocals; Alex Padilla, guitar and vocals; Veronica Asuelime, drums; Bianca Murphy, keyboards and vocals; and Sarah McClung, bass and vocals.

The name, Viridian, was chosen because the color viridian was a favorite of the lead singer, Rivera.

The origins of this assemblage of raw musical talent has its roots in the Teen Music Workshop, a San Bernardino City Unified School District student rock band that plays music from the 60s to the present.

Padilla was recruited to play for the Teen Music Workshop, in December of 2013, according to her father and manager of Viridian Lights, Alfred Padilla.

“Alex was checking out the guitars in Best Buy, when I was shopping,” said Alfred. “She was then invited to play with the band in 2013.”

Rivera also started with the Teen Music Workshop, as well. She joined the band three years ago.

Drummer Asuelime and bassist McClung hail from Highland.

Both, Murphy and McClung also have roots with the Teen Music Workshop and recently performed with the group at the 2019 SBD Fest air show.

As a product of the music program, Padilla and Rivera decided to form their own group Viridian Lights, started in January.

Each player is proficient in their respective instrument. As a collective, the band is tight. They play like seasoned players.

When they play, each song practically sounds like the original.

Their repertoire includes songs by Journey, Bon Jovi, Chicago, Bruno Mars, Earth, Wind and Fire, Elton John and more.

The group is so proficient at what they do, they have been given the opportunity to open for rock legends like the Eagles, Tower of Power, Ambrosia, Jefferson Starship, Dennis Quaid and Rick Springfield.

On Halloween, Viridian Lights performed at the Saban, in Beverly Hills, opening for Oingo Boingo Former Members band, which included most of the original members.

Oingo Boingo is famous for popular songs like “Dead Man’s Party,” “Weird Science,” “Just Another Day” and other New Wave favorites.

It was noted in a Music Connection article, dated Nov. 4, that “up and coming artists… and the all-girl band Viridian Lights, showcased their talents, all giving impressive performances,” at the Guitar Center Music Foundation Inaugural Benefit Concert to Support Music Education, at the Troubadour.

Next week, I will profile some of the members of the band, to show what it took for these players to become the accomplished singers and performers that they are today.

If you know anything about the past or present history of Highland, I would be interested in hearing from you. You can reach me at (909) 816-0318.

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