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North ensembles bring in cheer, holiday spirit in annual concert

Senior Lasya Thavanati performs “Angels We Have Heard on High” with the Jubilee Singers during the Holiday Concert. (Photo by Ian Dickerman)

Wind Ensemble and Orchestra members decked out in various Santa hats, reindeer headbands, and holiday themed clothing filed onto the stage. The stage was lit up with alternating red and green lights, and the room was filled with excitement for the holidays. 

The holiday concert “was really nice to take a break from the ‘before-break and end-of-term-two’ crazy academic time and get in the holiday spirit,” said junior Megan White.

The annual in-school concert, which featured Concert Choir, Family Singers, Jubilee Singers, Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Tiger Bebop and Wind Ensemble, took place e-block Thursday in the auditorium. 

The Orchestra and Wind Ensemble, who were directed by music teacher Adam Grossman, performed the first song, “Sleigh Ride,” a thrilling fanfare featuring trumpets and horns. The groups’ rendition of the Christmas classic featured the the sound of jingle bells, horse hooves, and even whip cracking. The different sections, such as the trumpets and the violins, took turns leading the joyful melody. 

Later, Tiger Bebop, which was directed by music teacher Richard Labedz, sang a capella versions of “White Winter Hymnal” and “We Three Kings.” The sopranos, altos, tenors, and bass sections began at different times, creating layers of harmonization. The entire auditorium was silent besides the angelic voices of the ensemble. 

The Family Singers performed another Christmas classic, “Last Christmas” by English duo Wham!. According to junior Katrina Mastoras, who is a soprano in Family Singers, “We have a reputation for singing weird old songs, so I think it was a nice surprise to sing a fun, modern song.” Grossman directed the singers.

The next song featured the Jubilee Singers, who were directed by music teacher Sheldon Reid. Senior Lasya Thavanati led the ensemble through a rendition of “Angels We Have Heard on High” with her breathtaking soloist vocals. The singers backed her up with an energetic vigor, swaying side to side and clapping their hands. By the end of the song, members of the audience joined in the clapping as well.

To end the concert, all the chorus groups and ensembles came on stage for “Hallelujah,” bringing a feeling of unity to the room.

“It’s not about school. It’s about something bigger; it’s about being kind and happy and celebrating each other,” said Mastoras. “Especially with a lot of political things going on right now, I think it was good to like bring the focus back to humanity.” 

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