Review: Spring Music Festival

Review: Spring Music Festival

Elizabeth Filine and Leon Yang

Spirituals and psalms, jazz and marches, pop and movie scores. The Spring Music Festival, which features musical groups at the high school, took place on Tuesday, May 17 and Wednesday, May 18. The Festival blended a light atmosphere with a serious approach to performing and music.

The Festival is split into two parts, with the May 17 performance presenting the Concert, a cappella and Camarata choirs, as well as the Concert Band, and the May 18 performance presenting the Orchestra, the Samba Drumming Ensemble, Camerata and Chamber Orchestra, the combined choirs and the Music Collective.

During the performance, senior students wore costumes, which ranged from sleepwear to a banana costume; dinosaurs to a colonial soldier. These costumes contributed to the ambiance where the audience was encouraged to laugh and interact with the performers.

The Concert Choir sang two spirituals and a jazz piece. The pieces were harmonious and displayed a variety of moods to match the words.

The A Cappella Choir combined individual performance in the form of soloists with a unified feeling of a complete chorus.

The highlight of the Camerata Choir performance was when they sang the Chichester Psalms, with freshman Benjamin Simon as the soprano soloist, representing young David. The first psalm, which was sweet-sounding, contrasted the second, which described raging, warring nations in an angry and dark manner.

The Concert Band finished off the evening with a bittersweet goodbye between the seniors to band teacher Carolyn Castellano, the technical three-part “First Suite in E-flat for Military Band,” a lively rendition of “Catch Me If You Can” and a medley of Michael Jackson’s pieces ranging from “Thriller” to “Man In the Mirror.”

The stage lighting was a colorful background which changed in tones subtly throughout the evening. This was not distracting, but contributed to a visually-appealing effect which was noteworthy.

Despite the formal setting, however, the performers joked with the audience and with their conductors while on stage. They encouraged the audience to laugh along, which resulted in a light and relaxed setting in a professional environment.