Springfest features talented musicians, visitors from Australia

Jubilee+and+Concert+Choir

Jubilee and Concert Choir

The Newtonite

Musicians performed Springfest I and II Wednesday and Thursday, respectively, in the auditorium. Springfest this year included the Concert Choir, the Jubilee Singers, the Symphonic Band, the Wind Ensemble, the Orchestra, the String Ensemble, and the Family Singers. Additionally, members of the Australian art exchange joined forces with this school’s groups.

Springfest I

by Maya Abou-Rizk

A scattered amount of purple uniforms could be seen during the opening piece of Springfest I, identifying the Australian art exchange students who participated in this year’s concert.

The groups participating in Springfest I included the Concert Choir, the Jubilee Singers, the Symphonic Band, and the Wind Ensemble.

Members of Concert Choir accompanied their director, fine and performing arts department head Todd Young, in the auditorium to open up Springfest I Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Young began with a surprise song for the audience. The song “Waltzing Matilda” was a repetitive, melodic piece sung by the Concert Choir that had not been written in the program.

Young introduced the song as one that had been sung as a family tradition when he was a child. He remarked that part of the tradition was that the song could not be sung sitting down, and therefore, he had the audience rise for the piece.

After, the Concert Choir immediately began another piece: “The Storm is Passing Over” by Charles Tindley. By the middle of the piece, The Jubilee Singers, directed by music teacher Sheldon Reid, entered the stage clapping along with the Concert Choir. Both groups finished the song together in an upbeat, fun fashion.

Next, the Jubilee Singers accompanied senior Ooreofe Oluwadara in the traditional song, “Guide My Feet.” Oluwadara was positioned in the front of the stage and sang with remarkable talent and with an impeccable range.

After the Jubilee Singers performed, the Symphonic Band came on stage. Their director, music teacher Richard Labedz, introduced the band and began their performance with “Bolero” by Maurice Ravel, arranged by Jay Bocook.

Wind Ensemble
The Wind Ensemble performs as a part of Springfest I. Photo by Robin Donohoe.

The piece was slow and steady. It began very softly with only clarinet, flute and snare drums, and smoothly transitioned until all the instruments had joined in. The piece ended very loud, but the song did not change tempo.

After the Symphonic Band, the Wind Ensemble came on stage. They played a few pieces including the upbeat “Molly on the Shore” by Percy Aldridge Grainer, and a very interesting “Variations on America” by Charles Ives.

The audience’s favorite piece of the night, though, was the “Concert for Trombone and Band” by N. Rimsky-Korsakov.

Senior Jared Perlo stood front and center on stage and played trombone while the band accompanied him. The piece was beautiful and relaxing, and it was purely amazing to see a student lead such a large part of the piece.

To cap off the night, musicians from Australia joined forces with members of both the Wind Ensemble and the Symphonic band to play the “Second Suite” by Gustav Holst.

Springfest II

by Jessica Tharaud

Soloists on the violin and viola and an opera singer who graduated from this school made Springfest II a concert like no other.

The groups included the Orchestra, the String Ensemble, and the Family Singers, all directed by music teacher Adam Grossman.

For the first piece of the night, String Ensemble played Felix Mendelssohn’s “Adagio – Allegro” from “Sinfonia No. 10,” which emphasized the high notes of the violin.

Next, the Family Singers came onstage to sing a delightful upbeat song called “Father William.” Composed by Irving Fine, Grossman told the audience that the song was chosen in honor of what would have been the deceased Fine’s one hundredth birthday this year.

“Mirjam’s Siegesgesang,” composed by Franz Schubert, told a biblical story of Miriam, the sister of Moses, and her flight from Egypt. The Family Singers sang with soprano opera singer Sarah Heaton, ‘00. Heaton’s incredible voice soared as she passionately sang in German.

Before introducing three soloists, the entire orchestra next took the stage, starting off softly but building as all the instruments joined in for Mozart’s “Impresario Overture.”

First, senior Sarah Shy played an amazing violin solo for “Allegro ma non troppo,” the first movement of “Violin Concerto,” composed by Ludwig van Beethoven. Shy made full use of the entire violin, in particular focusing on the higher register, which is unique to the violin.

Senior Caitlin Kwan’s viola solo was deep and rich in sound as she played “Andante moderato,” the second movement of Carl Stamitz’s “Viola Concert No. 1.”

The star of the night, senior Isabelle Oliart ended the concert as a soloist on Camille Saint-Saëns’s “Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso.” Oliart played this sultry piece with a clear, fluid sound as she nailed difficult shifts with her dextrous fingers, making for an enchanting finale.