Music students prepare for winter concerts

Rhydian Talbot/Staff Writer

Director Eliott Kranz will lead the men’s choir, women’s choir and concert choir in a joint holiday performance on Monday, Dec. 12, featuring music from a variety of seasonal celebrations. Traditional Christmas classics like “Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer” and “Lo’ How A Rose E’er Blooming” will be showcased, as will cultural carols, like the Nigerian “Betelehemu” and a celebration of Hannukah, “Hanerot Halulu.” As per a CFHS choir tradition, the evening’s performance will conclude with a mass choir candlelit performance of a Christmas lullaby, “Still, Still, Still.”

For an added twist, all three choirs are joining together with a full string and brass ensemble to perform the “Hallelujah Chorus” from Handel’s Messiah.

“I think it’ll be an exciting performance for both the singers and the audience, because the vocalists will be combining with an orchestra set and everybody knows this piece,” Kranz said.
The orchestra, under the direction of Scott Hall, will play a variety of combinations and genres on Thursday, Dec. 15. Featured instrumentalists junior Clarissa Sutton and sophomore Megan Tomson will be performing violin solos, the string orchestra will showcase multiple holiday-themed pieces, and the full orchestra comprised of strings, woodwinds, brass and percussion will join in the festivities as well.

“The string orchestra is doing a collection of selections that are Mannheim Steamroller arrangements. [Mannheim Steamroller] is a group that’s a fusion of rock and classical musical styles, so they’re somewhat unusual. They take a lot of classic Christmas tunes and stylistically change them with a more rock feel,” Hall said.

The wind symphony and symphonic bands, directed by Gerald Ramsey and Kyle Engelhardt, will present a secular winter concert on Monday, Dec. 19. Ramsey’s ensemble will perform such percussion-heavy selections as “Incantation and Dance” as well as pieces rooted in dissonance, like Eric Whitacre’s melodic “October.” Engelhardt’s students will pay tribute to the anniversary of Rosa Parks in “Today’s the Gift” and allude to the band’s upcoming spring break trip to Washington, D.C., with a piece entitled “Cenotaph.”

All performance begin at 7:30 p.m. in the high school auditorium. The cost of tickets for each show is $4 for students and $5 for adults. Activity passes will be accepted.

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