Winter Music Preview

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Matthew Pelli, Reporter
@mpellicourant

Choir students work through the entire semester to perfect their performance on the 9th. Photo by Emma Shullman

With winter concerts just around the corner, students are putting in the hours to make sure the performance is successful. The orchestra, band, and choir concerts will be performing their musical pieces throughout the month of December.

The choir concert will be held on December 9th. Sarah Gleason, head of the choral program, is preparing her students for the concert, “It’s a semester long preparation. Every day in rehearsal and voice lessons, we work on our voices, progression, and solo literature in order to perform the concert music better,” she said.

Ms. Gleason puts a lot of thought into picking out the music to expand the skills for choir, “I picked 5 pieces that spanned different time periods in history. Each differ in style, rhythm and harmony,” she said. “I wanted a variety so that we could find out what our strengths and challenges are as an ensemble.”

Through months of hard work and preparation, the end result is something the students look forward to. “After students perform in a concert, I want them to feel like all their hard work paid off,” she said.

Leo Ficks, orchestra director, prepares his students for the orchestra concert on December 5th. Photo by Mikaylah Vindas

Unlike their previous performances, this program is mostly from movie soundtracks, like Star Wars. The orchestra students have also dedicated their time to getting ready for their concert on December 5th. Leo Ficks, head of the orchestra program, picked out pieces he feels both his students and the audience will appreciate. “I think the combination of music is appropriate for the orchestra in terms of level and technical capability,” he said.

Mr. Ficks chose works from star wars and other movie soundtracks will entertain both the audience and the students, “It can be difficult to make programs that are interesting to listen to for the audience,” he said. “I try to bridge the two so that the audience can enjoy the concert from a listener’s perspective.”

The band will perform the last of the concerts on December 19th. Scott Cranson, head of the band department, chose to prep his students by taking them on several field trips to listen to professional bands play. “We heard the U.S. Marine Band and the U.S. Coast Guard Band perform pieces that we are going to play at the concert,” he said. “We got advice and suggestions about the individual pieces from the bands themselves.”

Mr. Cranston is using the concert as a recruiting tool for 8th graders who are thinking of doing band at the high school. “We hope to achieve a strong musical performance while integrating the Saxe 8th grade band in hopes that they will continue throughout high school,” he said. Students work very hard to put on a spectacular show, make sure to check out these concerts!

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