Performance Review: Winter Concert 2017


Jade Kwitkiwski

Camerata was one of the highlights of the 2017 Winter Concert in the Robert-Dubbs Auditorium. Their performance was forceful and soul-filling.

Jade Kwitkiwski, Staff Writer

Delicate white projections of snowflakes danced on either side of the grand stage, the red velvet curtains framing a glowing stage. Orderly rows of black chairs sat in curved lines along the stage, waiting in anticipation for the next applause-worthy performance.

On Dec. 14th, 2017, the Performing Arts Department presented the Winter Concert, showcasing different musical student groups such as the Acapella Choir to the Advanced Chamber Ensemble. The students and musicians had been practicing diligently and working hard in preparation for the show.

The Concert Choir’s third and final song, “Só Danço Sambaby Antonio Carlos Jobim, began with festive red lighting, red bow ties, and instruments to set the tone for an energetic piece. After a few moments of calm, a central group of the choir began to dance and sway back and forth, creating a more lively mood. I couldn’t help but tap my foot and smile towards the end of the piece when they began to harmonize the word “Bye,” over and over again with increasing volume.

As the Concert Band practiced a few notes before their song, a flurry of kids with tambourines in hand ran onto the stage, doing tricks and making noise. After the comical interruption, the Band began to perform “Sòlas Anés” (Gaelic: “Yesterday’s Joy”) by Samuel Hazo. I was most impressed by this piece because of how flawless the entire product was, the students and instruments were completely in tune with each other. As the music began to flow, it heightened with more energy. You could see the mallets flying up and down as the percussionists kept up with the song. The mood felt wistful and dreamy as if the music had come straight out of a Disney movie. The combination of so many instruments in sync with each other at the same time was spectacular, working cohesively and not overpowering one another.

Orchestra director Jorge Soto expressed before the Advanced Orchestra Ensemble performance of holiday favorites that, “everyone is welcome to sing.” I at first was unsure if anyone would actually be willing to join in, but soon enough the whole room was filled with the audience’s voices paired with joyful songs like “Jingle Bells.” The strings performers were heavily concentrated on the quick movements of their flying bows but were still able to take the moment to smile.

The night came to a delightful close with the Music Collective, a group of mostly brass and woodwinds, but was to my surprise, also pleasantly complemented by instruments such as an accordion and a jazzy keyboard. Their second performance, “As” by Stevie Wonder highlighted upbeat tones and coffeeshop-esque vibes in the beginning. The strength and mellowness of the trumpets were left ringing in my ears as the show shortly came to a satisfying end. As the bright overhead lights turned back on with a rumble of applause, I was overwhelmed with feelings of holiday spirit and gratitude for the coming new year.