Winter Concert Showcases Talent

By Ainon Hia Kazol ‘18 and Nusrat Minaj ‘18

Bundle up! The students of the Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble, Jazz Ensemble, Midwood Glee and the Chorus groups all blew us away with a storm of talents at the Winter Concert on January 14.

With the guidance of Ms. Melissa Williams, Mr. Daniel Jordan, Ms. Robin Casalta, and Ms. Angelique Alexander, the musicians and vocalists started the new year with a performance showing off the many talents we have here at Midwood.

The advanced chorus class began the show with a rendition of The Star Spangled Banner, and the audience was encouraged to sing along.

According to tradition, the Winter Concert held the Battle of the Chori this year. It is a competition of performances between all seven of the chorus groups and at the end of the show; the audience gets to decide who won the battle by submitting in a ballot.

“I’m excited to finally perform with all the practice we put into the show. Although, Ms. Casalta was tough on us during rehearsals, it was all from the heart and for the best,” said Ashley Chin ‘20.

Ms. Casalta led the chorus groups of periods three, six, seven, eight, and nine, while Ms. Alexander worked with the chorus group of period 8. These classes are mostly composed of freshmen who have never sang before.

“I’m looking forward to seeing my friend sing during her chorus performance for the Battle of the Chori,” Elizabeth Vool ‘20 said, as the show was beginning.

The results of the battle will be announced on Wednesday, January 18.

Since the beginning of the school year, the teachers have been working hard and gathering songs for their musicians and vocalists to perform for the Winter Concert.

“One of the selections, Into the Arctic is about a journey into the unknown and how mysterious it can be. The other two songs we’re performing take away some of the seriousness only to add some fun and slyness to the show,” trumpet player from the Wind Ensemble, Carina Pierre-Louis ‘18 said.

Michelle Liang ‘19 said, “I’m looking forward to playing the piece Quintus because it’s a really nice selection that we worked hard on and I want the audience to enjoy the song as much as I do.”

For Cathy Ching ‘20, this is her first time performing for the Winter Concert at Midwood as a trumpet player for the Wind Ensemble.

“We’ve been putting a lot of effort into improving our songs. Ms. Williams has been pushing us to make sure we do the best of our abilities for the show,” said Ching.  

While it’s the first time performing in this production for many of the students, it’s the last for some seniors, as well.

“I want my last Winter Concert to be the best one yet. I’ve grown so much as a drummer over the last four years here at Midwood and I’m going to miss playing with a huge group of talented, funny, and diverse musicians, along with Ms. Williams,” said Alexander John ‘17.

The Symphonic Band, led by Mr. Jordan, started their performance with a composition of the song, Bad by Michael Jackson. In honor of the King of Pop and his fashion statements, Mr. Jordan decided to wear the red Thriller jacket and a silver sequined glove while conducting his musicians.

Mr. Jordan’s Symphonic Band has fifty musicians playing different instruments. The band consists of percussion, woodwinds, and brass.

“Breaking down the pieces into chunks and simplifying the notes really helped with teaching the many students in the Symphonic Band,” Mr. Jordan said.

This year, the Jazz Band performed pieces arranged by themselves. Many of the musicians composed their own solos, showing off their skills and knowledge in music.

“I have a solo that I’m kind of nervous for. However, I think it’s going to turn out great because we’ve been practicing three months for this night,” Kervens Timothe ‘18 said, as he was preparing for the show a few hours before the performance.

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