The evening of Thursday, Dec. 4, Cemo Auditorium was filled with the chorus of the entire musicdepartment as players performed at the annual Christmas Concert.
The concert was a spectacular end to the concert season for the semester, with the music program coming off of great successes at the Chamber Concert, Hot Art/Cool Jazz and Thanksgiving Prayer Service.
The concert began when the String Ensemble took the stage. They started with a dramatic performance of “Twas in the Moon of Wintertime” a Canadian Christmas carol of Huron origins. This was followed up by a softer medley of “In the Bleak Midwinter” and “Angels We Have Heard on High” bridged together by a violin solo by sophomore Krzysztof Kwiatkowski.
A solo performance of Bach’s “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring” on classical guitar by Thi Tran came next. Lastly, the string ensemble finished out their part of the program in a dramatic performance of “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24” accompanied by part of the concert band. This proved to be among the best performances of the night.
The Singers then took then took the stage singing the gentle lullaby “Infant Holy, Infant Lowly” and a version of “Gloria.” An enjoyable and fast renaissance tune “Riu, Riu, Chui” accompanied by a tambourine and tenor drum followed and rounding out the first half of the show, the Percussion Ensemble came on stage, performing “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear.”
After a short intermission, the choir’s elite Small Ensemble was on the stand performing “In Dulci Jubilo” and another setting of “Gloria,” sung a cappella style.
Finally the concert band took the stage. They began with a suite of iconic dances from the Nutcracker ballet and continued, with accompaniment by the choir with three carols, the Czech “Lullaby,” the English “Coventry Carol,” and the Austrian “The Star.”
Choir Director Josh Wilson noted on stage that this concert really was a “trip around the world.” Finally the concert ended with a bang as all the musical ensembles joined together with audience as the entire room was filled with music of a classic Christmas carol sing-along featuring traditional songs like “Joy to the World” and “Silent Night.” Wilson comically noted again that it could not be a real Christmas concert without a sing- along. A rousing ovation from listeners stamped the crowds approval on the show.
Band Director Donald Thoede and Wilson also shined with their comic commentary and humorous improvisations which added a great atmosphere to this excellent evening. Audience members genuinely enjoyed the display of holiday spirit and were snapping their fingers in delight.
“It reminded me that Christmas is right around the corner,” Junior Julian Ramos said. Musicians were pleased with the results of the concert.
“It was good; it was one of our better performances,”
-Kyle Knittig, Senior
This was his first performance at a school Christmas Concert.
The concert was excellent considering only a week was spent practicing the pieces due to the very busy concert season. The choir has worked tirelessly all semester putting on production for the school community.
It was excellence and determination that allowed the choir students to put on an extraordinary performance.
The choir small group especially worked hard, going beyond class time to make expertly learn their performance pieces.
The variety of music performed was wide; both ends of the musical spectrum were on display.
From the grand orchestral arrangement of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s “Christmas Eve/Sarajevo 12/24” to the harmonious a cappella performance of “Gloria in Excelsis Deo.”
The Christmas concert featured a wide variety of music from all over the world, which a spectacular performance from the men of the choir.
The music department, along with all of its entities, are just another great instrument of living out the motto of “Teach me Goodness, Discipline and Knowledge.”