Music department delights at winter concerts

December 8, 2015 — by Gwynevere Hunger

Audience members left full of holiday spirit after attending the winter concerts put on by the music department on Dec. 1 and Dec. 3.


Audience members left full of holiday spirit after attending the winter concerts put on by the music department on Dec. 1 and Dec. 3.

The first concert featured the Freshman Band, Symphonic Band, Freshman Orchestra and Philharmonic Strings, while the second featured Saratoga Wind Ensemble, String Orchestra and Saratoga Strings.

“The concert this year went better than others, since we were able to incorporate new elements such as glowsticks and choreography into our show,” senior cellist Kayla Kim said. “All three ensembles performed well, with holiday cheer for our Christmas festival at the end of the concert.”

The two concerts each showcased nine pieces. At both concerts, the orchestra and band first performed four pieces separately. The two groups then came together at the end of concert in a combined holiday performance. The final holiday pieces played were “Silent Night” and “A Christmas Festival,” in the Dec. 1 and Dec. 3 concerts, respectively.

On Dec. 3, Saratoga Strings also played Karl Jenkins’  “Palladio,” in which they showcased a non-traditional performance. With all the lights off in the McAfee Center, they attached glowsticks on to their bows for visual effect. The bass drum players were the only people on stage, while the cello players sat at the base of the stage and the violin and viola players walked through the entire audience.

“I think this performance was one of our best, as we showed that orchestra can loosen up and have fun while performing,” Kim said. “People were really excited by our glow-in-the dark performance.”

To add to the holiday spirit, the members of the music groups also incorporated holiday decorations into their performances. For example, the bass string players put tinsel on their scrolls and many orchestra and band members wore Christmas hats.

In addition, leaders of the advanced groups put on a Christmas skit at the end of the Dec. 3 concert. Music director Michael Boitz dressed up as Santa and fought against choir teacher Andrew Ford, who dressed up as Jack Frost. In the skit, Jack Frost tried to take Christmas Spirit away by taking Boitz’s or “Santa’s” conducting baton.

Seniors Shiva Djabbari, Nina Groeneveld and Katie McLaughlin dressed up as reindeers who talked about the joy of Christmas and the holidays. Senior Avi Arjavalingam dressed up as an elf who fully brought back Chirstmas.

“Ending my last winter concert with a large Christmas fanfare music through a combined band and orchestra finale is a very memorable moment that I will cherish for my high school band career,” senior saxophone player Daniel Eem said.

The choirs also came together this past Tuesday for a holiday concert at the McAfee Center, as did the Jazz Bands on Thursday night. (Because of printing deadlines, The Falcon was unable to cover these concerts in the print edition.)

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