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‘Harvestfest’ fills auditorium with whimsical music

Orchestra performs during Harvestfest, Thursday, Nov. 16 in the Lasker Auditorium
Annie Tango
Orchestra performs during Harvestfest, Thursday, Nov. 16 in the Lasker Auditorium

Full of contagious energy from the musicians, Harvestfest was a celebration of whimsical music. 


Harvestfest played Thursday, Nov. 16 at 7 p.m. in the Lasker Auditorium, featuring performances from the Concert Choir, Family Singers, Jazz Ensemble, Jazz Workshop, Jubilee Singers, Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Tiger Bebop, Wind Ensemble, and Vocal Ensemble.


“Harvestfest is a really exciting first show of the year. It’s a time when everyone in the music department really comes together and it’s the first time where you get to see every ensemble and every group performing,” said senior Audrey Sanger, a member of Jubilee Singers and Tiger Bebop.


The Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble kicked off the night with “Bandology,” by Eric Osterling, an upbeat piece full of harmony. Orchestra took the stage next, filling the auditorium with a swell of soothing music. 


“With it being our first performance, the goal is to get everybody on stage. For some students, it’s the first time on that particular stage and that first time being part of that big, one of a kind of production with seven different groups going on,” said music teacher Richard Labedz.


The Vocal Ensemble performed four songs, with “Fugue for Tinhorns,” by Frank Loesser as their closing track. “Fugue for Tinhorns” had an energetic piano accompaniment, contributing to the playfulness of the song. The ensemble is made up of freshmen who joined the choral program this year.


“Seeing the freshmen and just imagining them performing in Jubilee and Family Singers next year and then through the rest of high school is really cool especially since I’ll be leaving next year,” said Sanger.


A highlight of the concert was Tiger Bebop’s moving performance of “What a Wonderful World,” by Bob Thiele, with solos from seniors Ziviette Bergman-Igra, Sanger, and junior Danielle Ottaviano. The song was a reminder of the power of music. It made time slow down for a moment as audience members took in its message.   


Jazz Workshop took the stage next, showcasing each musician’s talent during “The Chicken,” by Pee Wee Ellis. The piece featured solos from senior Owen Shin, junior Thomas Shortsleeve, and freshman Nate Walkey. With the Jazz Ensemble’s performance next, the audience was abuzz with excitement.


“I always love seeing the Jazz Ensemble at the end of the performances because they always bring so much energy,” said Bergman-Igra. 


The Jazz Ensemble blew the audience away with their performance of “The Look of Love,” by Burt Bacharach, with solos from senior Simona Karadoneva and junior Arnav Travers. With a slower beat, Karadoneva’s vocals complemented the melody with smooth runs. 


“It’s nice to see that kind of a whole jazz program has been developed here at Newton North,” Labedz said.


Overall, Harvestfest was a celebration of various music, from classical to jazz to acapella. It was a preview of what’s to come from the music department this year.


“The best part about Harvestfest is just seeing everyone performing together, seeing everyone happy and just supporting each other,” said Sanger. 

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