The Band, Orchestra, and Madrigal Christmas Concerts


Valerie Figueroa

Members of Orchestra and Band stand when the audience applauds them for their performance.

The Band and Orchestra Christmas concert took place on December 8 at 7 p.m., and the Christmas Spectacular Concert took place on December 11 at 2 p.m. On December 8, the concert included Chamber Groups, a String Ensemble, the Symphonic Orchestra, and the Wind Ensemble. Then, on Sunday 11, the Madrigals joined these groups for the Christmas Spectacular.

Students in both Band and Orchestra have been preparing for the concert for seven weeks. There are 31 members in the Orchestra and 48 members in the Band, while in the Symphonic Orchestra, there are 61 members. However, it was not easy preparing for the concert because of the limited time students in Band and Orchestra had to prepare with each other versus separately. This was definitely a challenge because the whole ensemble only practiced with each other three times before the concert. Violin player Lillian Gurnack said, “It was hard because we didn’t get to practice very often together.” Although this was a challenge, this made the students more productive in rehearsals. Orchestra teacher Mrs. Semanik said, “It was a challenge, but it also gave us an experience that we don’t normally have in the classroom.”

The Orchestra and Band played both “Nutcracker Set 1” and “Nutcracker Set 2” together. They also continued the tradition of playing “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson. This piece was a crowd favorite because of how well it was played and because the Band and Orchestra wore festive hats during the performance.

The concert included smaller groups that played various Christmas music, including “Feliz Navidad,” “Mele Kalikimaka,” “Run Rudolph Run,” “Silver Bells,” and many more. The size of these chamber groups varied from two players to seven players. One chamber group specifically arranged their piece titled “Christmas Melody,” which was a unique mashup of Christmas songs arranged by sophomore Jackson Wand.

The Orchestra and Band both had separate pieces as well. The Orchestra played their own “Carol of the Bells” and “Greensleeves and Scenes” from Swan Lake. In comparison, Band played on their “Air for Band” and “Polar Express.” Cello player Kristianne Villasenor said, “It was a new but fun experience for me which I really enjoyed.”

Then on Sunday, December 11, the Madrigals performed alongside the Orchestra and Band at the Christmas Spectacular Concert. They sang various songs, including “Ave Maria,” “Away in Manger,” “Little St. Nick,” “O Nata Lux,” and “Pat-a-Pan.”

The concert was successful because the theater was packed on both nights with few empty seats. Students got to perform music they had practiced for so long in front of their family and friends.