Following the bell that signaled the end of the school day, students filed into the Performing Arts Building to enjoy the afternoon concert presented by the Grier School Music Department. Since their last concert in mid-December, the participating student musicians have been hard at work, learning a wide-range of technically challenging and expressive pieces.
Under the direction of Music Department Chair Barbara Neumuller, the Orchestra opened with three original American-themed compositions. The first," Cumberland Cross" featured a bluegrass fiddling technique, followed by "Appalachian Morning," a reflective piece depicting sunrise over the Appalachian mountains with solos by junior clarinetist Tzu-Ting, and finally, "Second American Folk Rhapsody," a medley of American folk music arranged by Clare Grundman.
The String Orchestra took the stage next and played, "Cherry Tree," an original composition by Japanese composer, Yukiko Nishimura, celebrating the spring cherry blossom season. The second piece was a string arrangement of the famous "Pictures at an Exhibition" by Modest Moussorgsky.
Next up, the Jazz Ensemble performed a funky rock piece by Victor Lopez called "Grooved Payment" and a fast swing number, "Whirly Bird," both featuring our senior alto saxophone player, Alina. An entertaining Calypso-influenced piece called "Tropical Flute Punch," performed by the Flute Choir introduced our young musicians to a different style of music.
Under Julie Hanlon's direction, the Junior Select Singers performed two pieces: "If You Could Hear My Voice," a four part vocal arrangement accompanied by djembe and piano and "You Are My Music." Both songs allowed young vocalists an opportunity to perform solo.
The Select Singers opened with "La Maumariee," a traditional French tune which required four-part singing and intricate body percussion. The group was directed by Emily-Margaret (senior) and accompanied by piano and oboe. They closed the program with a beautiful piece set to E.E. Cummings' poem "I Carry Your Heart with Me" by Dickau.
Choir Director, Ginger Reinhardt felt her singers took a "huge leap" in the difficulty of the pieces performed in this concert. While the program contained a variety of pieces, as a new challenge they took on a polyphonic 16th century a cappella
piece titled "O Vos Omnes" by de Victoria. They closed out the concert with a jazz standard titled "It Had Better Be Tonight," most recently covered by Michael Buble. For this exciting number, the choir was accompanied by an ensemble of piano, bass, drums, synth, alto saxophone, trumpet and guitar.
The Music Faculty is proud of their students who worked earnestly to prepare for this concert, facing challenging pieces head on, learning to sing independently, and displaying great versatility in the variety of numbers performed.
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