By Caroline Hong and Kevin Jiang
From modern to classical to holiday tunes, South ensembles play it all. Thursday, Dec. 6, was the annual Winter Concert I, which featured the Jazz Band and String Orchestra, both conducted by Mr. Michael Schwartz; the Soul Sisters, one of the vocal groups instructed by Dr. Pamela Levy; and the Concert Band, conducted by Mr. Mark Boschen. They performed a variety of music, including Mozart, excerpts from the opera Carmen, and the hit tune “Say My Name” by Destiny’s Child.
Mr. Schwartz also teaches the Chamber Orchestra and Symphonic Band, and Dr. Levy the Mixed Choir, Barbershop Quartet, A Capella, South Singers, and Chamber Choir. On Thursday, Dec. 13, the Barbershop Quartet opened up Winter Concert II with “Go the Distance” by Alan Menken. The concert continued with “Cry Me a River” from the A Capella group and “Hallelujah” from the Mixed Chorus Mixing musical styles, the Chamber Orchestra followed “Winter Wonderland” and “Sleigh Ride” with Beethoven’s Fidelio Overture, and the South Singers sang Maroon 5’s “Payphone,” just before the Symphonic Band performed highlights from the musical My Fair Lady.
Music department head Mr. Michael Schwartz said, “Everyone worked extremely hard, so despite the time we lost because of Hurricane Sandy, we were still able to put everything together.” Winter Concert II was the first time in Music Department history that all the music students performed a song together—the concert culminated in a grand finale performance of “White Christmas” by the Chamber Orchestra, Symphonic Band, and Mixed Choir.
Social Studies teacher Mr. Joseph Ko, commented, “[The grand finale] was very ambitious, and I think they did well. From all these years of coming to the concert, I have never seen [the music department] put so many kids on the stage!”