The long-running KCOS show High Q is hours away from launching its 34th season. The popular show, now running for nearly three and a half decades, features El Paso-area high school student-teams competing against one another in academic trivia.
The reigning championship team, Coronado High School, was recently recognized as one of the top academic teams in the country in 2015.
Notable El Paso alumni who were past competitors in High Q include Kauffman Fellow and Co-Work Oasis owner Beto Pallares, as well as Metropia community manager Tania Chozet.
High Q, now under the direction of PBS El Paso’s new creative director Frank Luna, has undergone some major revamping.
“We’ve completely redesigned the set, re-wrote the main theme, changed out the buzzer sounds, and have included some aesthetic tweaks that I think the people of El Paso will really appreciate,” says Luna.
The team who made the creative transition possible include director Rod Velarde and production assistant Mario Ramirez, who physically built the redesigned set in just a few months after collaborating with Luna, as well as production assistant Maribel Padilla, who assisted with technology.
Creative director Frank Luna, an El Paso native who recently moved back to El Paso from San Diego, California, said that he was enthralled by the growth and development that had occurred in El Paso since his original departure to New York City to start his video production company JVP Productions 15 years ago.
In our interview, Luna added: “It’s amazing to see just how much our city has grown over the past few decades. I’m always excited when I meet students who want to pursue a career in the arts. It’s something that we should be continually supporting in our youth.”
Luna’s personal project, thChrch, recently opened its doors to a 6,000 sq. ft. creative space next to Lincoln Park (3900 Rosa.) Luna explained that the mission of thChrch (not religious) is to build an entrepreneurially-minded community around music, art, and film.
“Serving as the creative director at PBS and creating thChrch and have been two of the most rewarding jobs I’ve ever had,” says Luna. “The most important thing that projects like High Q allow us to do is support the interests, passions, and endeavors of our youth, however unique they may be.”
Season 34 of High Q premiers Thursday, October 19 at 8:00pm on PBS El Paso channel 13. Previous episodes of the show can also be streamed at kcostv.org