Review: Winter Concert 2016
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With snowflakes projected on the walls and green, red and blue lights shining on the stage, excited families and students found their seats on Dec. 16 at 7:30 p.m. to witness the amazing musicians and vocalists at the high school.
First up was the Concert Band, who started the night off with Of Gale Force Winds, which was an energetic and upbeat piece that simulated a wind storm. The song nicely showcased each of the different instruments in the band and immediately put the audience into a happy mood. The next piece, selections from Tim Burton’s The Night Before Christmas, was a slower song than the first, but was much grander. It greatly presented the percussion, with the xylophone’s chimes sounding like Christmas bells.
After a brief switchover, the Concert Choir, dressed in all black, took the stage with the Sesotho Folk Song, Mohlang Ke Kgotlelang. The singers used many hand gestures and movements, while singing the lyrics “Hunga chu chu,” making the piece more fun. The Concert Choir rounded off their portion of the evening with Glory, Glory Hallelujah!, an African American spiritual song. Powerful duets were exhibited from students Jack Flood and Vlad Pawlowski Caubet, as well as students Sophie Nigrovic and Serena Rumpler. The choir snapped during this exuberant piece, as well as moved back and forth to the beat.
Next, the A Cappella Choir came on stage dressed in black with purple scarves. Their first song, Do Wah Diddy, featured solos from students Diego Echeverria De Cordova, Ranna Shahbazi, and Benjamin Kiehl. The audience applauded and cheered for each soloist as they started and ended their portion of the song. After the soloists sang a bit of their part, the rest of the choir would repeat the lyrics, creating a sort of echo effect. The next song, Java Jive, was perhaps the most amusing number of the evening. It had fun, lighter lyrics such as “I love coffee and tea,” which trickled some laughter from the audience. The final tune, included Prince’s Seven, Raspberry Beret and Little Corvette, and had solos from students Brandon Chin, Francisco Figueiras, and Samuel Winickoff. The audience thoroughly appreciated this piece, which paid a tribute to the late Prince, and loudly clapped during portions of the number.
The final choral group, Camerata, was dressed in black with red scarves. Camerata sang three songs, but the most memorable of them all was the last one, Bridge Over Troubled Water. This song finely contrasted the diversity of voices in the choir. The higher and lower voice parts were brought out individually, and towards the end of the piece the two were combined to form a loud and compelling unity of voices. The choir started clapping to the beat as they sang, and the audience enthusiastically joined in, creating a burst of energy that led everyone into intermission.
Immediately following intermission was the orchestra, who played Adagio in G Minor with immense passion. They were able to provoke deep emotion, and keep the audience on their feet with their intensity. Following this song, a student from the orchestra came up to conductor Jorge Soto and handed him a santa hat.
Orchestra members and the audience chuckled as Soto wore his hat, and started conducting their final song, Dama Antañona. Dama Antañona was a Venezuelan Waltz, which the orchestra transported the audience to with the upbeat and cheerful melody.
Before the orchestra could fully exit the stage, the Samba Reggae group made their entrance. They stood below the stage, right in front of the first row, so people could be captivated with the action they had to offer.
They were the loudest group of the night, and had different sized drums tied around their waist – some reaching below their knee! One student knocked on pipes and jiggled a shaker, adding to the variety of sounds. The group ended their segment by playing while exiting through the aisle, allowing the audience to closely watch the members play.
Last but not least was the Music Collective, who fittingly ended the Winter Concert with the song Get Down Santa, which included several holiday songs. Not long after the band started playing, dancers came in holding red and silver holiday decorations. These dancers proceeded to place these decorations on the players’ heads and on their instruments, which some students had to stop playing to remove. Doing this conveyed to the audience that playing music is far more enjoyable when the element of fun is present. The band finished the song with the tune We wish you a merry Christmas, and a happy new year, which brought the audience into the holiday and Christmas spirit, ending the memorable evening.