Students performed in the yearly winter instrumental concert, “Festive Light” on Dec. 7 in the Saperstein Theater. The Beginning Band, Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Beginning Strings, Concert Strings and Middle School Symphony ensembles performed their repertoire. These six groups were conducted by Emily Reola and Starr Wayne.
“I think it was a really fun concert. Every group had something different and unique planned. It really went with the theme of ‘Festive Light,’” Reola said.
Prior to the concert, Cadence with a Cause performed holiday music in the lobby of the Saperstein Theater.
The concert kicked off with Beginning Band performing six pieces. The first song performed by this ensemble was “Ode to Joy,” followed by five other pieces While the Beginning Band was playing, the Concert Band joined in, energizing and surprising the crowd during “School Spirit.”
Concert Band continued the concert with three of their pieces, including “Themes from ‘Jurassic Park.'” Adding to the effect of this piece, a student dressed up as a dinosaur while playing the cymbals.
Symphonic Band performed “Too Dark for Aunt Zelda,” “Themes from ‘The Incredibles’” and “Congolese.” During “Themes from ‘The Incredibles’” a trailer of ‘The Incredibles’ movies was played, capturing the audience’s attention.
A brief pause was held between the Symphonic Band and the Beginning Strings ensembles while a slideshow of the student musicians played.
Beginning Strings played three pieces during their portion of the concert. They performed “First Scale March”, “Entry of the Tumblers” and “Can-Can from Orpheus in the Underworld”. Concert Strings performed with Beginning Strings for their last piece, “Can-Can”.
The next four songs were played by the Concert Strings ensemble. They performed “Yuki Matsuri (Snow Festival)”, Bach’s “Brandenburg Concerto No. 5, Mvmt, 1,” “Blazing Bows of the West!” and “Sleigh Ride.” During their holiday themed song “Sleigh Ride,” artificial snow fell from the ceiling of the theater.
The Middle School Symphony, the last and largest ensemble, performed six songs total. The Harvard Westlake Symphony Strings began with the Pavane and Basse-Danse movements of the “Capriol Suite for String and Orchestra”. They continued with Hungarian Dance No. 5 and “Sevilla” from Suite Espagnole, Op. 47.
This year, the Harvard Westlake Madrigals performed the song “Dry Your Tears Afrika” composed by John Williams with the Middle School Symphony. While the Madrigals sang the lyrics of the song, the instrumentalists played the accompaniment. Guest conductor Jeremy Pease led both the Madrigals and the Symphony through the piece.
The Middle School Symphony continued with “Danse Infernale”, a song that shocked the audience when the song began.
As a surprise for the audience, the Middle School Symphony performed “Holiday Jubilee”, a medley of holiday songs, such as “We Wish You a Merry Christmas”, “Dreidel Song” and “Auld Lang Syne.” The performers wore holiday lights while performing their last song to end the concert.
“I really really enjoyed doing the concert because I was up there with my friends,” Symphony violinist Alec Rosenthal ’22 said.
After the concert, a reception was held on the Horns Commons.
“I think that the concert was amazing. I never knew that there were so many people of so many different levels playing so many different kinds of instruments,” concertgoer Maddie Morrison ’22 said.