Holiday concert unites music programs


Miyoki Walker, Entertainment Editor

The weather outside is frightful, but the music is delightful.

Student musicians will gather in the auditorium on Dec. 11. for the annual holiday music festival to ring in the holidays with music and festivities.

“The festival features all of our classical music groups,” Band Director Matthew Bufis says. “You’ll hear two orchestras, three concert bands, and a variety of choirs that our program offers. Over 400 music students will be on the program.”

The core curriculum taught by the music department will be reflected in the set list. The concert will include classical and contemporary pieces for musical enrichment, with a few holiday tunes mixed in.

“Of the songs that the symphonic band are playing, my favorite is Caccia and Chorale,” junior clarinetist Theresa Tsaggaris says. “It’s a more challenging song than the band is used to playing, and I think it will really engage the audience.”

The holiday concert is usually the most well-attended music event of the year. That being said, a lot of preparation goes in to get it running.

“Hours of scheduling, student preparation, and rehearsal time are needed in order to pull off a great event that the community will enjoy, and that the students will get a lot out of,” Bufis says.

Sectionals are also used as practices with localized instruction for a small group of students with similar instrument parts. This practice, along with class rehearsals, will contribute to the work that is performed at the concert.

Although practice is essential to the success of the event, rehearsals are usually limited to one class period a day.

“We have band everyday to prepare, along with at-home practice that we may need,” junior percussionist Dina Baron says. “Other concerts are separate between band, orchestra and choir, but this concert brings them all together. This makes the concert different than others.”

For the last 80 years, the music department has arranged a program full of holiday spirit, festive decor and student talent. Although the concert takes on the same format each year, much has changed since the first performance.

“When the concert first started, it happened in Beardsley Gymnasium and ran for three days,” Bufis says. “Now more than 80 years later, we’re taking traditions from those first few concerts and evolving them. The biggest difference is in the music that we play.”

Each group will get about 10-15 minutes of stage time to make up the three hour holiday program.

Tickets will be sold at the door and will cost three dollars for adults, one for students, and free for senior citizens.