Review: Springfest II presents talented musicians and delightful pieces


Nour Chahboun

by Nour Chahboun
Audience members were engrossed in stunning, breathtaking music as it filled the auditorium during Springfest II Thursday evening.
Concert Choir, Family Singers, String Ensemble, and Orchestra, all directed by music teacher Adam Grossman, performed exquisite, serene pieces in honor of springtime. “Soloists did an excellent job, and I’m pleased with all the performances,” he said.
The show began with Concert Choir performing “Three Country Dances” by Thomas Ravenscroft. The piece was joyful with fast paced tempo and high notes. Singers then created a round, as voices overlapped, created a cohesive, blended sound.
Next, Concert Choir sang an English folk song entitled “The Turtle Dove,” arranged by Frank Ahrold, with freshman Madeline Ranalli as soloist. The piece began with Ranalli singing delicately beautiful notes, as Concert Choir sang a peaceful and serene melody and senior pianist Sam Lam played a haunting tune. Overall, the piece was a great hit due to the singers’ evident passion as they performed.
Lastly, Concert Choir perfectly executed “Fugue for Tinhorns” by Frank Loesser. The piece was youthful and sweet, composed of joined harmonies between the high parts and baritones. The heartening blend of high and low notes made for an enjoyable piece for all.
According to sophomore Concert Choir member Rose Mooney, participating in the concert was a priceless experience because she “loved learning all the cool pieces for the concert.”
Family Singers were up next, performing “Fair Phyliss” by John Farmer. The piece was composed of a call and response between the high parts and low parts, creating a delightful echoing effect. The crisp melody made for a colorful tune that spread throughout the auditorium. The audience members were pleased by Family Singers’ performance since the piece depicted springtime and happiness.
Next, Family Singers performed a piece that was constructed by local composer Thomas Stumpf, entitled “Shakespeare Magic.” The piece was broken up into three movements, with soloists performing in each movement. The first of the three movements, “Spirits,” started out with a haunting staccato sound and soft percussion creating a harrowing atmosphere. The movement ended with a splendid blend of piercing high notes and soft low notes.
According to sophomore and junior Family Singers members Kevin Seuch and Elizabeth Wu, “Shakespeare Magic” is unique because it was “the first time it has ever been performed.”
“Witches,” the second movement, was loud and powerful as voices rose into dynamic crescendos. The forceful tempo made for a robust piece that left the audience members very impressed.
The last movement entitled “Fairies,” featured junior soloist Olivia Duvall. Duvall opened the piece with a beautiful, poised melody, as other parts echoed an eerie harmony. The brilliant mix of delicate percussion and frightening lyrics created a truly pleasurable movement.
Next, String Ensemble performed “Frolicsome Finale from Simple Symphony” by Benjamin Britten. The piece was fast-tempoed and composed of impressively rapid melodies. As musicians stroked faster, the atmosphere gradually transformed into a beautiful, urgent chaos. The piece ended with a deep, purposeful finale.
Orchestra then took the stage and performed “Clarinet Concerto” by W.A. Mozart, with senior soloist Julia Ansolabehere on the clarinet. Ansolabehere led Orchestra with a crisp tactful tune, as she experimented with various different tempos. Orchestra flawlessly complemented Ansolabehere with delightful chirping sounds. The piece as a whole encompassed sweet springtime.
Lastly, Orchestra played a piece entitled “Cello Concert” by Dmitri Kabalevsky, with senior soloist Henry McEwen on the cello. The piece began with McEwen’s intensely powerful solo on the cello. His fingers passionately moved up and down the cello, creating a loud, vigorous crescendo. Orchestra demonstrated its impressive ability to conquer rapid tempos, as students’ fingers remarkably jumped in between strings.
“I’d say my favorite part of performing is trying to piece together what’s going on in the music to what’s going on in my life,” said McEwen. According to him, “it makes the piece much more real and allows for a lot more emotion during the performances.”
The concert was filled with admirable student talent that made for an enjoyable night for audience members.