Orchestras shine at winter concert


Alex Jowanovitz

BOW ON THE STRING. Sycamore Orchestra Director Dr. Angela Santangelo conducts the combined seventh and eighth grade orchestras at the annual orchestra winter concert. After each grade performed separate pieces, they came together to play the final two. “It was really cool to see [the junior high kids] play pieces as separate orchestras and then combine to play a piece together,” said Alice Lundgren, 11, cellist.

The SHS Orchestra performed their annual winter concert on Dec. 5, alongside members of the Sycamore Junior High (SJH) Orchestra as well.

While this may not seem significant at first, this format is actually a major departure from how winter orchestra concerts have operated in years past.

For starters, the concert was held in the SHS auditorium, instead of the usual location of the SJH auditorium. Additionally, orchestra students from E.H. Greene did not perform in the concert; a first for a very long time.

Traditionally, the winter concert ends with all of the members of all orchestras in the district playing a piece together, accompanied by the Sycamore Electric Ensemble (SEE1), the high school electric orchestra.

The piece played normally has something to do with the holidays, and requires all students grade six and above to memorize the music since there is only enough music stands for the fifth graders.

However, due to the absence of the fifth and sixth-grade orchestra students, such a finale was not be performed.

 Members of the SHS orchestra are pretty divided on this decision, despite it being out of anyone’s control.

“I am happy that we don’t have to memorize a piece this time, but I do miss being able to play with everyone for a finale,” said cellist Alice Lundgren, 11.

The SJH strings performed first, playing four pieces, including “The Chipmunk Song” and “Sleigh Ride to New Haven,” composed by SHS alumnus Doug Spata.

Next was the SHS orchestra, who played “Palladio” by composer Karl Jenkins, and “Memory” from the Broadway musical “Cats,” both of which the group performed on their trip to Disney in November.

The final piece performed was “Waltz of the Flowers,” from Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Nutcracker Suite.” This was put on by the SHS orchestra combined with students from the SHS Wind Symphony.

While the concert was not as memorable or as large as previous ones, the students seem to be satisfied with their performance.

“I think [the performance] went really well, and it was a great experience,” said Claire Minton, 12, Wind Symphony member.

The Sycamore High School Orchestra next performs on the upcoming Pancake Day, on Mar. 2, 2019.