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Warm Sounds on a Cold Winter Night

Antonia Collins

Gabi Boardman, Harbinger

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The Annual Midwinter concert was a two hour event that took place on January 17, 2013. It consisted of Percussion Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, Jazz Combo, Jazz Ensemble, and Roundtable Singers.

 All of those groups consist of advanced musicians. However, this year the concert also included the beginning percussion ensemble classes.

 Mr. Berry had this to say: “This is a unique concert , it shows the great range of our music department. We have so much to offer. We like to put our music on display, so to speak.”

 The regular MHS Percussion Ensemble did their first piece, Lids, using trash cans of vary lengths, sizes, and types. It was very exciting and fast, with varying sound, from soft to loud. Their next song, In the Hall of the Mountain King, used traditional instruments. For the beginning it was quiet and slow, however, as it progressed the tempo increased as did the volume, making for another fantastic performance.

 Chamber Orchestra performed shortly after; their first selection, called, Blue-Fire Fiddler, was very upbeat and fast. The next piece, Bylina, a very stark contrast to Blue-Fire Fiddler, began very slow and sad. In the middle, it featured a solo by Cheareace Miller on viola. Soon, the tempo increased although mood of the piece became even sadder. Finally, the tempo decreased and the movement came to an end. The next song, Winter from the “Four Seasons” had a variation of tempo, and also a variation of moods. It truly felt like winter with the sadness and the cold.

 Next up was Brian Graves, who did a solo on the guitar. He played Prelude No. 1 and Castles of Spain which were both of varying tempo and many chords. They were very calming and wonderfully executed. The two songs were striking; some soft, others loud, but the melody was always lovely.

 The next group to perform was the MHS Roundtable Singers. Their first piece, Gloria ad Modem Tubae, was very upbeat and lovely. The next song, Locus Iste, was very dramatic and powerful. This was followed by My Spirit Sang All Day which was very upbeat and very loud. On Children & Wanting Memories had a varying rhythm, with people singing the beat and singing different words at the same time and it faded very nicely. Finally, the last song was Soon-ah Will Be Done, it was very fast and ended loudly with a quick stop.

 The MHS Jazz Combo, a very small group, performed next. However, their selection, Milestones, was not small at all. It was very long, but amazing! The song was upbeat and quick, with solos by almost every member. The interesting thing about this performance was that the song only had the beginning and end written out. The middle part was all improvisation!

 Finally, the MHS Jazz Ensemble appeared onstage. Their first number called Avalon, included three soloists: Nathan Edwards on tenor saxophone, Alan Pearl on trumpet and Jeremy Peck on drums. All three improvised, and the song was beautiful, it was quick and had a nice beat. Next they played Brush Taps, which included a solo on Piano by Matt Mokarsky, who also improvised. It was an awesome piece that started out with the drum and was slower with more pauses. It had a more laid back feel than the others. Finally, to close the concert, was Punta del Sol, featuring the drum section. It had a loud start and went between being dramatic and smooth. It ended suddenly and a great concert was over.

 The Percussion Ensemble was conducted by Mr. Cancellieri, Chamber Orchestra was conducted by Mrs. Maas, and Roundtable Singers were conducted by Mr. Tyler. The Jazz Combo was directed by Mr. Maher and the Jazz Ensemble was directed by Mr. Berry.

 Mrs. Maas had this to say, “I thought the concert was great. I was very pleased with the performance of the chamber orchestra. They’ve worked very hard and should be very proud of their efforts. I also enjoyed listening to all the other groups.”

 This concert had many different groups which all played fantastically! Go to the next concert coming up, you won’t be disappointed!   

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