Harvard-Westlake (HW) Beginning Band, Concert Band, Beginning Strings, Concert Strings, Symphonic Band, and Middle School (MS) Symphony performed at the winter instrumental concert “The Magic of Music” on Friday, December 13. Performing arts teacher Starr Wayne conducted Beginning Band, Concert Band, and Symphonic band, while performing arts teacher Neli Nikolaeva conducted Beginning Strings and Concert Strings, and seventh grade dean and youth orchestra instructor Emily Reola conducted the MS Symphony.
“It’s really exciting,” MS Symphony principle pianist Yoshimi Kimura ’23 said, “You spend so much time working on something and then it pays off.”
She says her favorite song was the “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies.”
“I don’t usually get to play with a lot of string players, so it’s nice to be able to play orchestra music,” Kimura said.
MS Symphony Principal violist Ian Kim ’22 says he liked the camaraderie in the MS Symphony and that Reola is “really awesome.” His favorite song from the concert is “Bacchanale” from the musical “Samson and Delilah,” which was the last song of the night.
“I thought the concert was amazing,” HW MS math teacher Gregg Ross said. “It’s really great to see the transition that happens between when kids are just starting out and then when they get better and then when they get really good and it’s just kind of cool to see all the different levels perform together.”
His favorite song in the concert was “Plink, Plank, Plunk!” which was played using pizzicato, a technique where stringed instruments are plucked rather than played with a bow. Ross said that before the concert, he didn’t know the technique existed. He also joked that his favorite musician of the night was Casey Ross ’23.
“She did an amazing job on the cello,” Ross said.
Beginning Band opened the concert, followed by Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Beginning Strings, Concert Strings, and the MS Symphony.
“It was a great time,” Kim said.
Upcoming MS performing arts events include the Acting Scene Night Jan. 14, the Contemporary Dance Workshop Showcase Jan. 16 and the “Big Band” Jazz Concert Jan. 31.