Review: Festive Pops Night enjoyed by all

The Newtonite

[media-credit name=”Leah Budson” align=”alignright” width=”300″]Senior Sarah Perlo and junior Jen DelGrande play with the Flute Ensemble at the start of Pops Night.[/media-credit]

Senior Sarah Perlo and junior Jen DelGrande play with the Flute Ensemble at the start of Pops Night.

by Leah Budson

Yesterday evening at 6, members of the school community and student musicians trickled in to the cafeteria to the sound of the Chamber Ensembles playing pleasant background music.
This annual event, called Pops Night, is the final concert of the year and the only night in which all of this school’s music ensembles perform.
After the audience’s light-hearted chatter and laughter had died down, each of this school’s music ensembles performed one to four pieces.
During many of the pieces, such as Symphonic Band’s “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” by Randy Newman and the Wind Ensemble’s medley of ABBA tunes, audience members could not resist tapping their feet to the beat.
Family Singers’ bubbly rendition of “Under the Sea” by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman truly captured the essence of the night. The singers, wearing goggles, only ceased smiling in order to play their invisible instruments. It was clear that every ensemble member was having fun.
Continuing the Disney theme, Concert Choir and Orchestra performed three songs from The Lion King, each bringing smiles to nearly every listener.
A highlight of the night was Tiger Bebop’s striking a cappella performance of “Blackbird” by the Beatles, in which the group made the familiar tune their own through their powerful layered harmonies and unique tempo.
After the music ensembles’ performed, the awards portion of the night began.
The fine and performing arts department gave eight different awards and scholarships to seniors for exemplary musicianship in different categories. Ellie Abbott, Mia Bracciale, Pamela Chen, Laura Cooke, Matt Moss-Hawkins, Nellie Robinson, Emily Schacter and Melissa Weikart were all recognized.
The final and most prestigious award, the Henry Lasker Memorial Music Award, “goes to a student who is a fantastic musician, but more importantly it goes to a student who has embodied the total picture of what it means to be a musician,” said fine and performing arts department head Todd Young.
The award was granted to senior Emily Paley, who is a member of Family Singers, Northern Lights and Jubilee Singers. Applause thundered throughout the cafeteria as she rushed up to receive her award, a surprised yet ecstatic expression on her face.
The award recipients were not the only ones smiling. Either because of participating or listening, Pops Night gave the audience a reason to be happy.