Harmonies to warm the heart

Barbara Lawlor
Nederland

Winter wonderlands.

Sleigh bells.

Angels singing.

Wassailing.

Reindeer songs.      

Hippopotamus wishes.

This is the season for music and much of it was written and performed at least half a century ago. You couldn’t sell a song about dancing, melting snowmen today, but Frosty goes on and on, like his magic hat.

Last Tuesday night, December 12, 2017, the Nederland Middle Senior High School performed their annual Winter Band and Orchestra concert, a diverse collection of music that was punctuated with musical pieces relating to the season. Santa hats were in abundance.

The orchestra concert began at 6 p.m., opening with Christmas Cellobration, featuring, as you can guess, the cello, a popular stringed instrument for students. As usual, the students performed the Carol of the Bells, a difficult piece that is joyous and fun for both audience and kids.

The finale, Pulcinella, a ballet piece by Igor Stravinsky, featured half-faced masks worn by the musicians, dotted with color and hints of gold which lent itself to a striking visual effect.

When the orchestra was finished, it was the NMSHS band’s turn to take the stage and show their family and friends what they have learned in the past few months.

Traveling all the way from the Nederland Elementary School, the fifth graders were proud to clamber onto the high school stage and look out at the packed auditorium. They treated the audience to an English Folk Song, Buns, Hot, Cold and Crossed, which had everyone smiling at the eager effort the younger students put out in their debut.

Sixth graders polished their round technique with Brother Martin and Frere Jacques, learning how to focus on other parts and not be distracted by other members of the band, who played something different at the same time. Each performance is a learning experience, giving the students confidence and the sense of playing with 18 other students, hearing their sounds mesh into music.

A medley of carols was performed by the middle school and then they combined with the high school band to hit the sonic notes of Wipe Out.

The high school band then played Dvorak and Grieg in a Slavonic Dance and then the March of the Dwarfs.

To end the evening, the fifth, sixth and middle level schools played a fun Rather Bumpy Sleigh Ride.

Throughout the night, 41 students took a seat on the stage, promising a good future for the school’s bands and orchestras.

 

 

 

Barbara Lawlor

Barbara is a reporter for The Mountain-Ear.