CHS Band to Play Role in Netflix Feature Film

Members of the Canby High School Band will play a featured role in the upcoming Netflix film All Together Now starring 19-year-old Auli’i Cravalho, the lead actress from Disney’s 2016 hit Moana.

Which just goes to show you: You never know how far they’ll go. (Sorry: I couldn’t resist. My daughter made me watch that movie 400 times.)

Along with the Hawaiian-born starlet, the film features the talents of Fred Armisen — well-known, particularly in our neck of the woods, for Portlandia, and Saturday Night Live — Carol Burnett, Rhenzy Feliz, Judy Reyes, Justina Machado, Taylor Richardson, C.S. Lee, Anthony Jacques Jr. and Gerald Waters.

Based on the Matthew Quick novel Sorta Like a Rock Star, All Together Now is a teen drama that tells the story of an optimistic and musically gifted high schooler, played by Cravalho, who dreams of going to Carnegie Mellon University.

Karrie Garrett, a recent graduate of Canby High School and former band member, said the film’s casting director called CHS band director Nick Luchterhand back in October because they needed a high school band with the colors blue and gold.

The band discussed the offer and ultimately accepted. Thirty students from the wind ensemble were selected (based on seniority) to participate as extras, along with eight who would play a larger role in the production.

Though she couldn’t say much about the unreleased picture, Garrett did reveal that she was part of this second group.

“These students filmed for three days straight,” Garrett said, explaining these parts were filmed at the old Concord Elementary School building in Milwaukie. “This was the best part of filming, in my opinion.”

During that time, the students met most of the cast, including Cravalho, Feliz, Richardson, Waters and Armisen.

“We got to see what they are like without the acting, and they are the most amazing people,” Garrett said. “What’s also amazing is Fred Armisen used to be in a band, so he was super happy to see us playing. He even signed and autographed our drum set!”

He really signed it. Photo courtesy Karrie Garrett.

The filming of the larger group of Canby High School Band members took place at Oregon City High School. (Which is more than a little ironic considering the athletic rivalry the two schools have enjoyed over the years. I hope they had to deck the place out in blue and gold.)

Garrett said it was an unforgettable experience for the students, who got an inside look at the making of a major motion picture.

“It gave us insight into how much effort goes into putting on a movie,” she said. “We got to see every part of the industry from makeup, hairstyling, costume designers, to the camera filming, the special effects, and to even hear the sound of the clapperboard!”

Garrett called it an “amazing experience,” and meeting the famous actors was — in the words of the enthusiastic teen — “super cool.”

“We may have been super exhausted after working super long days, but in the end, we’ve been waiting to tell everyone what we got to do,” Garrett said. “Unfortunately, I can’t give you too many details until the movie comes out, but I’ll just say that the band has a huge impact on the entire story!

“So yeah, the Canby High School Band is in a Netflix movie!”

The film is directed by Brett Haley, who previously helmed the Netflix teen romance All the Bright Places, among other projects. All Together Now premieres on Netflix on Aug. 28, 2020.

Susan Nash, then a senior in the Canby High School Band, flashes a thumbs-up before performing during the halftime show of a Canby football game last October. File photo.

Screenshot courtesy Netflix.

The Canby Now Podcast is dedicated to the radical idea that news is not a product and should be free for all. Ironically, for this model to survive, we do need the (voluntary) support of our community. Find out more about how you can help sustain the work of the Canby Now Podcast for as little as $1 a month at canbynowpod.com/support. Thanks!