First concert of the year: success

First concert of the year: success

Sydney Williams, News Editor

The first few months of the school year boast opportunities that perhaps only students and teachers fresh off the summer have the energy for, with highly involved activities such as Drama Club’s One Act and football’s annual grind towards state. The music suite, too, is busy this time of year: the Kickoff Concert took place on October 21st. 

This year’s concert featured many popular songs like “California Dreamin’” by the Mamas & The Papas, “Believer” by Imagine Dragons, “Riptide” by Vance Joy and more. 

Opening the concert was a preview of the spring musical, Fiddler on the Roof. Sung by all choirs, it featured junior Reed Christion on the violin, as well as senior Samantha Himegarner on the oboe. 

Originally, this concert was created to provide an opportunity for student choice, and so effectively starts off the year with a line-up of music that is most appealing to students. 

“[The Kickoff Concert] is different because of the variety of music and most of the ensembles are student-led. It is a time for students to pick their own songs and have a fun time with them, and it really showcases the talent of the people in the music department,” said senior Madison Ceder, who participated in multiple ensembles with a solo in Kee Notes’s “Zemabia.”

Apparently, students heavily favor the a capella vocal group, Pentatonix. The concert featured not one but two songs by them: “Water” and “Run to You.”

Students got involved in other ways, too. Several students played instrumental accompaniments during the performance, including piano, ukulele and violin.

An interesting addition to a few of the songs was a vocal percussionist, freshman Sawyer Schmidt. Schmidt added lively beats to songs by multiple choirs, even ones that he was not a regular member of.

“I really liked the variety in the performing groups and how each song sounded unique in its own way,” said sophomore Emma Follendorf, who participated in multiple pieces and sang solos for “Zemabia” and Concert Choir’s “Believer.”

Molly Petroff, the choir director, commented on the importance of student growth through working on these small groups in preparation for the concert. 

“It’s an opportunity for them to work together, collaborate, communicate, arrange, rehearse, refine, evaluate and reduce to come up with a vision. It’s a really neat creative process.” 

“I enjoyed singing in Concert Choir, Kee Notes and a small group [“Run to You”], because each ensemble had different types of music, and it was fun singing with a lot of other singers,” said junior Brian Hlathein. 

Guiding the audience through the musical evening were four Masters of Ceremony — seniors Madison Ceder, Grace Johnson, Gretchen Johnson and Natalie Kazynski. They provided comedic commentary as well as introduced each of the acts to the audience. 

While smaller-group performances were up to student choice, the three choirs, freshman choir Chorale, all-female choir Sonoro and sophomore, junior and senior-grade Concert Choir also performed. Their songs ranged from oldies such as “California Dreamin’” and “Aquarius/ Let the Sunshine In” by the Fifth Dimension to pop music like “Believer” by Imagine Dragons.

Another group that performed at the concert was the vocal jazz group, Kee Notes. Kee Notes performed the song Zemabia by Kerry Marsh, and featured a quartet performing “Unchain My Heart” with Schmidt’s vocal percussion accompaniment. Kee Notes is an auditioned extracurricular choir that meets twice a week before school. 

 Not only is the Kickoff Concert a student favorite, but it is also used as a fundraiser for the music program. The music department uses concert admission proceeds to offset programming costs and pay for travel expenses associated with field trips. 

The music suite will additionally be party to a winter concert, a capella carolling and the solo and ensemble festival in upcoming months.