For the first time in recent memory, musical groups from both the Lower School and Upper School came together to put on a concert in the Court Theater on December 12. In front of a standing room only crowd, students in grades 4–8 performed a number of holiday hits and other tunes, exhibiting their musical talents for family and friends.
The first song of the evening, “Festival of Light,” was conducted by Performing Arts teacher Maureen Isbister and included students from all grades, with the Grades 7–8 Chorus joining the Grades 4–6 Concert Band. The band followed up with “Christmas in the Kitchen,” which featured soloists playing the unlikely instruments of water glasses and pots and pans. The Grades 4–6 Recorder Ensemble then took the stage with “Lightly Row” and “Jingle Bells,” followed by the Grades 4–6 String Orchestra, led by strings teacher Rob Davies, playing “Seminole Chant” and “Twinkle Jinkle.”
Ross School’s most recent addition to the Performing Arts faculty, Deanna Locascio, directed the Grades 4–6 students in renditions of “Holiday, Holiday” and “Peaceful.” Although Deanna joined Ross only five weeks prior to the concert, the young vocalists united to present a beautiful and moving performance.
As a transition of sorts from LS to US groups, seventh grader Tristan Griffin performed a piano solo of Chopin’s “Tarantelle in A-flat major” in a virtuoso display of musical talent. He was succeeded by Rob Davies and the Grades 7–8 String Orchestra, playing “Cabbage Countdown” and “Gargoyles,” and Adam Judd, dean of Performing Arts, and the Grades 7–8 Chorus, singing “Corde natus” and “Just the Way You Are/Just a Dream,” an a cappella piece written in six parts, which the chorus covered with just 14 singers.
The last two groups to perform were the Grades 7–8 Concert Band and Stage Band. The Concert Band presented “March” from The Nutcracker, “African Bell Carol,” and “Hanukkah Holiday,” which was a medley of three Jewish/Hebrew songs: “O Hanukkah,” “Maoz Tzur,” and “Zum Gali Gali.” The Stage Band then wrapped up the concert with “Freddie the Freeloader.” Finally, the audience was invited to join the students in a rousing rendition of “Jingle Bells” before proceeding to the downstairs lobby for hot chocolate and cookies.