PETER FINNERTY/SAGAMORE STAFF
From the bombastic swells of the brass instruments to gentle plucks of the cello, the winter concert was filled with a range of sounds and emotions.
The winter concert that took place on Dec. 13 was the culmination of practice and preparation for many musical groups. In the concert, a variety of students were able showcase a range of moods through their music.
The concert opened with the cello choir, which played an arrangement of “Hava Nagila” by Peter Neville. While starting off slower, with each note sounding particularly deliberate, the song gradually sped up and became more quick and upbeat.
After the cello choir, the entire orchestra entered the stage, first playing the “Super Mario Bros.” theme, leading many in the audience to murmur in recognition. While playing the theme in its iconic quick and peppy tune, it ended smoothly and slowly, signaling the tonal shift into the next piece.
The next few songs from the orchestra were selections from “The Nutcracker Suite,” including the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” “March” and “Dance Russe Trepak.” The range of the orchestra was on full display; in one moment, the only sounds would be the soft plucks of the violins, and in another, the ensemble would be playing loudly together, producing a dynamic experience.
Following this, the concert choir began with the Kenyan folk song “Ning Wendete.” The large choir used their numbers to their advantage; while they had portions where only one side sang or the two made different melodies for much of the time, it emphasized the times where the entire group sang as one, making it even more powerful. The concert choir used this to great effect in the next song, “Chi la gagliarda,” as well. While many different melodies were sung at once, these served to complement each other and become more than the sum of their parts.
For concert choir’s final song, “Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho,” the song took a more mournful tone. Unlike the previous two, the piano took an active part throughout the song, often staying with the vocals but occasionally deviating into its own tune. The different parts of the song, that being the two sections of the vocals and piano, were not overwhelming and seamlessly blended together.
A Cappella Choir then took the stage. Unlike the previous two groups, this choir played more mainstream songs, such as “Good Time,” “I Will” and “Friend Like Me.” Throughout the songs, the soloists often took the spotlight with the lyrics, but those in the background during these times still played a crucial role. Throughout their performances, individuals in the choir were swaying with the beat and clapping, which spread the enthusiasm to the audience.
Camerata, performing afterward, see-sawed between soulful in “Wade in the Water,” mournful in “Wiegenlied,” and peppy in “Ain’t Misbehavin’.” Throughout, the singers used their voices to convey their tones, whether that was smooth, soft, or quick. In the last song, “Ain’t Misbehavin’,” junior Eve Waldron and freshman Jamie Leslie stood out for their scat solos, adding character to the song and playing further into the irreverent mood.
Finally, the two choirs came together for the holiday classic, “Sleigh Ride.” The choirs perfectly encapsulated the festive feeling of the song; in particular, junior Natathniel Arnstein’s use of sleigh bells added extra holiday cheer.
After a brief intermission, the concert band began with “Ascend,” a quick, exciting song for the audience. They then transitioned into an arrangement of several Stevie Wonder hits. The arrangement ranged from fun and light to slow and chill, all while remaining smooth and relaxed throughout. The brass section often formed the backbone of the melody, maintaining the tone throughout.
The advanced chamber orchestra then performed, first performing “Merry Go Round of Life” by Joe Hosaishi. The piano and cello were more distinct from the other sections of the orchestra; the piano’s sound and faster melody served a key role throughout the piece. Meanwhile, the cello’s constant, slower notes throughout also accentuated the main melody of the piece.
Music Collective closed the night with “It’s Fine,” “Seven Steps to Heaven” and “Neutrino,” two of which were composed by members of the Music Collective. The pieces all shared an upbeat, fast and bombastic approach, expressed most clearly in the passionate solos. The visibility of the group’s hand signaling, the members looking at each other while soloing enthusiastically, and the general attitude made the pieces seem more organic and impromptu, adding to the experience.
Overall, the performance was a shining showing-off the talents of many musicians. The intensity and diversity of the music made the experience one to remember.