Dressed in professional, holiday performance attire, the Hawthorne Elementary School fifth and sixth-grade students brought a combination of choir and band selections to the junior high school gym, for this year’s winter concert.
Accompanied by Janice Bice on the piano, well-known carols were vocally presented by the 13-member choir. Following this, the entry-level band assembled to bring recognized melodies, along with snippets of explanation given by instructor and conductor, Dr. Ben Gooch. The students expressed their pride in enjoying the opportunity to perform, as well as expressing smiles when audience members shared positive responses.
An hour later, the Hawthorne Junior High and Mineral County High School took to the same stage to provide an hour of music.
The 10-member, Junior High School Concert Choir, weaved harmonies together on songs such as “Feliz Navidad” and the popular Rogers and Hammerstein song, “My Favorite Things”. Adding to the high school level singers, made for a full-sized choral sound on The Little Drummer Boy. A lovely duet was presented by sisters, Ashley and Caitlyn Rogers.
During the vocal ensemble group presentation of three-holiday selections, a surprise guest from the audience, high school history teacher Darren Hamrey, joined the singers by accompanying on drums in the song, “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch”.
Building the momentum within the evening, this winter presentation not only provided three concert band numbers but included a symphonic band, which revealed the music program’s expansion. The knowledge of instruments was evident in the student’s growing interest. Many audience supporters commented on the confidence levels within the students, praising the kids for their performance demeanor and the accomplishments made within the first semester of school.
Dr. Gooch briefly shared tidbits of introduction regarding the concert instruments, the solos performed and the songs were chosen. Audience members were reminded of the background facts surrounding the nostalgic Christmas carols being performed.
“Bach died over 300 years ago, yet his music is still interesting and familiar even today,” Gooch shared.
Tenor Saxophone player, Caitlyn Rogers agreed, stating, “My favorite song was Prelude and Fugue in Bb Major by Bach – even though it was the toughest piece to learn and to play tonight.”
Wrapping up the evening’s concert, the concert band and the symphonic band played the song, “Silent Night”, as their instruments shined like ornaments on a tree in the gym lights. The student’s faces concentrated on the sheet music before them, as audience members were seen humming along and swaying to the familiar seasonal melody. Band members stood for a final applause as the music department offered everyone a wonderful season and a happy New Year.