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North Winter Concerts

Cael Javier

Volume 4 Issue 2

January 16, 2024

North Winter Concerts

Image provided by Cael Carillo-Javier

As December comes around, so do holiday concerts. Many students in different ensembles had been working hard, rehearsing for their portion of the concert. I’m an eighth-grade student in North’s band, and I felt very excited for our concert. I enjoy performing in front of people, and I like listening to music and playing instruments. Here, I will talk about my experiences of performing on stage, being part of a band, and some of the ensembles that have performed.  

We had been rehearsing for this concert since the beginning of the school year. We went over tempo, dynamics, balancing, and articulation. I play percussion, making it important to practice what volume we had to play, the speed of what we are playing, and what notes to play. We performed holiday-themed and other genres of music for our concert. There is a dress code we must follow when we are on stage: white top with black bottoms. Jeans and sneakers cannot be worn on stage, and all dress shoes must have heel support.  

Before our concert, the band waited for the other ensembles to finish their performance. After they left the stage, we quietly walked to our seats. While entering the stage, we had to be as quiet as possible. A clarinetist played a note to help us tune our instruments, and the rest of the band repeated it. Before each piece, a student speaker gave a summary of the music piece. We must always watch the conductor when performing, since they cues us in, and shows us the tempo in which we are playing. When our section was over, we walked off the stage in an orderly fashion. We are usually the last group playing. 

I was able to interview the directors of the Junior High Band and the Junior High Chorus about their thoughts on each of our performances, which took place on December 14, 2023.  

With Debra Schneider as director, Kathryn Rogers on piano, and Aleene Antanesian on bells, these are the songs that the Junior High Chorus performed:  

“Sleigh Ride” - A song originally recorded in the 1960’s by Leroy Anderson and Michael Parish. The chorus performed a pop version of this song arranged by Kirby Shaw. 

“Just One Star” - An original song by Mac Huff about hope and simply wishing upon a star. 

“Holiday Road” - Arranged by Roger Emerson, this song by Lindsey Buckingham was featured in the 1980’s National Lampoon movie series. 

“Last Christmas” (Bella Voce) - This song, written by Wham! Arranged by Greg Gilpin, it is about love and loss. It is about a failed relationship with someone and then meeting them again a year later. This song features Alene Antanesian, Sophia Daly, Jolenny Duran, Gabriella Giammarino, Kristianne Kissoon, Lindsey Moreno, Aubrie Plinto, Nelissa Rodriguez, and Maddi Saez. 

My favorite part of being a teacher is to be able to work with my students. I think it’s really fun to work with them. I love it when they first start out with music and how they’re just learning it or maybe struggling, and then as we progress through it all the success that we find. And then, seeing the final product at a concert is really exciting.” – Debra Schneider, 2023 

With new Music Department teacher Anthony Malizia as band director, these are the songs that the Eighth-grade Band had performed: 

“Afterburn” - This piece by Randall Standridge is a great opener that has lots of energy and a fast tempo. This piece is about a plane taking off into flight and the different things that you see and what happens when you kick on the afterburners.  

“Blazing Clarinets” – This piece has a fast clarinet section feature composed by Andrew Balent. It’s whimsical, jumps around, and highlights the clarinet section. 

“Selections from the Polar Express” – Written by Glen Ballard and Alan Silvestri and arranged by Michael Story, this is a medley from all the notable songs from the 2004 movie, The Polar Express. It goes through many different styles and tempos, making it big on contrast. It features The Polar Express, When Christmas Comes to Town, Hot Chocolate, Believe, and Spirit of the Season.  

“This is my first full concert where it’s with students that I started the year with. I have done two concerts before on my own, so when I was starting with student teaching, I was able to conduct one of the pieces that I was working on with the group that I was working with. I conducted this piece, ‘Santa the Barbarian’ with a sixth-grade band, and it was a lot of fun. There was shouting in that too and it was just a very heavy piece.” Anthony Malizia, 2023 

Throughout December, there were multiple concert dates. The Eighth Grade Band performed on December 14th, along with the Junior High Chorus. There have also been other ensembles that performed this month, such as the Seventh Grade Band, Senior High Band, Senior High Chorus, Senior High Orchestra, and Junior High Orchestra.  Congratulations to all performers and directors who performed! Big thanks to our custodial crew for all of their hard work. 


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