Ensemble groups perform at annual Holiday Concert

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Ensemble groups perform at annual Holiday Concert

Sarah Rotner

Sarah Rotner

Sarah Rotner

Nathan Zelizer and Sarah Taub

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The school’s two orchestral and three choral groups performed for the school community in the annual Winter Concert on Tuesday night during Gross Theatre.

The performing choral groups included Glee Club, Concert Glee Club, and Treble Choir and the instrumental groups included Sinfonietta and the larger HM Orchestra.

The concert opened with Glee Club, which performed ‘Al Shlosha’ by Pirkei Avot and Allan E. Naplan and ‘The Very Best Time of Year’ by John Rutter.

Choir Director Timothy Ho chose  ‘Al Shlosha’ because “it was very warm and showed off lots of ability,” and chose ‘The Very Best Time of Year’ to showcase “something that was a little more standard and Christmassy,” Ho said.

“For Glee Club, it was really a matter of finding two pieces that seemed very fitting for the group vocally but also had a sense of impact,” he said.

After the Glee Club, Sinfonietta, a small orchestral group of only 13 people, played five movements of ‘Concerto Grosso in G minor’ by George Frideric Handel.

The school’s newest choral group, Treble Choir, also performed three pieces.

Treble Choir first sang ‘Candles in December’ by Ruth Elaine Schram and later performed ‘Pat-a-pan,’ “a rhythmic piece that showed off their skills,” Ho said.

“Since Treble Choir is a smaller group, I like to do vocal jazz with them during the holidays because there’s also that Macy’s feeling to Christmas time, which is different from other holiday songs,” he said.

Concert Glee, one of the school’s advanced choral groups, performed ‘Set Me as a Seal’ by Richard Nance, accompanied by Richard Hausman (12) on the French Horn, and ‘Jesus Child’ by John Rutter, an “upbeat, happy piece,” Ho said.

“This year especially, their sense of working as an ensemble together is really great,” Ho said.

“I think this concert was really good just because there was so much material and so many different songs and moods,” Adam Frommer (10), a member of Concert Glee, said.

The orchestra also performed the annual ‘Toy Symphony’ by Bernhard Romberg, which “added a comical aspect to what is mainly a serious concert,” Claire Goldberg (9), a member of the orchestra, said.

The concert’s largest set, performed by both the orchestra and all the choral groups, was ‘Elijah’ by Felix Mendelssohn.

The piece was one of the most challenging works that orchestra and choir have ever done together, Ho said.

“Around this time last year Mr. Hetherington came to me with this piece and it was more a matter of finding the movements that we thought we could do really well that still told a coherent story,” Ho said.

“Playing with the choir is definitely something that’s very new to me, but it was definitely really cool to see the pieces all come together in the end,” Corey Brooks (9), a member of the orchestra, said.

This concert was different from other concerts in the past because every group took on more challenging pieces, he said.

“It was definitely a harder concert than in the past because the Elijah was really long, especially on top of the other songs we’re performing separately,” Kareena Gupta (10), a member of both Concert Glee and Treble Choir, said.

“This is probably one of the strongest groups I have ever worked with before, so to make music with them last night was just so beautiful,” Ho said. “It was wonderful to hear such a good, warm sound and to know that everything they were going to do would be great,” he said.

“This was my first Holiday Concert and I was so impressed,” Maya Nornberg (9) said. “I saw my friends working really hard and it definitely paid off,” she said.