Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Naperville Central High School's award-winning newspaper.

Central Times

Science teacher Paige Lundquist leads her third period Honors Biology class on May 10.
D203 Board of Education approves major changes to science course pathway
Nolan Shen, Arts & Entertainment Editor • May 23, 2024
One of the photos taken by senior Tomi Bounphisai of R41N during this years Centrals Got Talent show.
Senior snaps singing, dancing and prom: “I just enjoy watching their vision come alive”
Selah Lee, Staff Writer • May 22, 2024
Sophomores Lilly Jia (far left) and Audrey Cheng (left) instruct competitors at Clover Math’s elementary and middle school math competition, hosted at Central on April 26. Clover Math is an organization founded by four District 203 juniors.
Student-led math organization hosts competition
C.J. Getting, Operations Managing Editor • May 21, 2024
From left to right, Robert Zoellick, Dr. Catherine Adrian DeRidder, Matt DiCianni and Ben Hutchison pose after becoming Central’s newest Distinguished Alumni at a ceremony on May 3.
Central inducts four new distinguished alumni in 25th annual ceremony
C.J. Getting, Operations Managing Editor • May 20, 2024
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Humans of Central: Jesse Gross

Orchestra+director+Jesse+Gross+traveled+all+across+the+U.S.%2C+playing+shows+in+theaters+that+ranged+from+800+to+3%2C800+seats%2C+gross+met+his+future+wife+in+the+cast+he+toured+with.
Jake Pfeiffer
Orchestra director Jesse Gross traveled all across the U.S., playing shows in theaters that ranged from 800 to 3,800 seats, gross met his future wife in the cast he toured with.

For two years, I was the violinist for a national tour of “Fiddler on the Roof.” There was a professional production company named Prather Entertainment, who purchased the rights to the show, and my ex-junior high orchestra director knew the trumpet player that was in the pit. I got a call asking if I was interested, so I sent them my resume and a couple of video clips that I had of my playing, and they said, “We’d like to offer you the gig.”

I played like 380 shows in theaters that ranged from 800 seats to 3,800 seats, like big theaters. We would go to the location, [and] we would either play a show or would play maybe two or three shows, or maybe five shows depending on where we were. Generally, we would play a show and then we would go back to the hotel and we would sleep for a few hours and we would get on the bus at five in the morning. [We drove] all day to a new location and we would get off the bus at like three in the afternoon and eat dinner and then warm up and then play another show.

We did lots of gigs, [and] we did it for years and years.  It was amazing. It was a 5-piece band, I was the violin [player]. There was a guy that doubled on flute and clarinet. Another guy doubled on all the horn [and trumpet] parts. There was a percussionist that played all the drum parts and percussion parts, and there was a guy that played keyboard and also had tracks, like automated sounds that go along with live music. I had a microphone right on the bridge of my violin and if I sneezed you could hear it throughout the house. If I [breathed] too hard, you could hear it. It was just a really good experience for me [as a performer] because I played almost 400 shows, and it was just me on the violin for three hours every night for years.

[It] didn’t matter if I was having a good day or a bad day or if I was feeling nervous or if I was feeling good, you know, I just had to lay those notes out every night. And it was quite the experience.

I [also] still keep up with all the people from the cast, and I met my wife on the tour—she was in the cast. This was a little over ten years ago now,  and now we’re married and we have two children. And so that’s an amazing part of the show for me.

I got to travel all across the country from Florida to Maine to Wisconsin to Oregon to Washington to California to Texas. We went everywhere. And that was just really fun and we drove so I got to see a lot you know, and I had a lot of time on a bus to read books and read about technique and practice the violin. It was just really kind of like a fun, magical time of life where all I had to do was play the violin, and just see the world.

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About the Contributor
Jake Pfeiffer
Jake Pfeiffer, Editor-in-Chief
Jake Pfeiffer is a senior, entering his third year on the Central Times staff, this time as Editor-in-Chief. Jake joined CT as a sophomore because he wanted to write news, but since then he has grown to love just about every element of journalism. While it is rare to see Jake anywhere other than the CT office, occasionally you can find him captaining Central’s debate team, watching baseball, listening to a seemingly endless amount of podcasts or drowning in college applications.
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