by Leah Budson
Green and red lights colored the side panels of the auditorium as students, chattering with the near-break excitement, filed into the theatre. This school’s annual in-school holiday concert, featuring lively performances of holiday songs by many of this school’s music ensembles, occurred Thursday, Dec. 19 in the auditorium during E-block.
The Orchestra, conducted by music teacher Adam Grossman, opened the concert with a dynamic rendition of “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson. The musicians, some complete with Santa hats, played off each other beautifully, setting the tone for the cheerful and impressive concert that came afterward.
Afterwards, the Orchestra exited the stage to reveal the Wind Ensemble, which is ordinarily conducted by music teacher Richard Labedz but utilized student conductors for this concert. Their second song. “Silent Night” by Franz Xaver Gruber, showed the ensemble’s versatility; the musicians alternated between slow, legato melodies and faster staccato notes, adding a refreshing change to the familiar tune.
After Wind Ensemble’s final song, Symphonic Band took the stage, followed by Tiger Bebop, this school’s vocal Jazz group. Beginning with playful snapping that continued throughout the performance, the chorus sang an upbeat a cappella rendition of “Let it Snow” by by Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn, that highlighted the singers’ abilities to complement each other’s voices in beautiful overlapping harmonies. Like Wind Ensemble, Tiger Bebop used a student conductor, senior Isabel Rivero.
After Jubilee Singers, notable for its dedication to gospel music, presented. All the vocal groups collaborated to finish the event with a series of standard Christmas carols, with fine and performing arts department head Todd Young as conductor. They ended the concert with the traditional but electrifying “Joy to the World” by Isaac Watts, proving the power that talent and cheer have to unite the school community.