Music in Our Schools: Part 8

rcsRAVENA-COEYMANS-SELKIRK — The house was as packed as it could get on Thursday night for the first of four concerts in the month of March for the Music in Our Schools month concert series at the RCS High School.

Over the next few weeks the district’s music departments will have all their talent on display as this Wednesday will be the fifth grade concert at A.W. Becker at 7 p.m., on Thursday, the sixth, seventh and eighth grade and high school bands will perform at the high school, also at 7 p.m., and finally on March 17th at 7 p.m., the Pieter B. Coeymans fifth grade concert will be held.

As for last Thursday, the show was a great one. It started out with the the Class of 2015 Women’s Chorus featuring Madeline Civill, Carlie Doggette, Laura Farrant, Ashley Hagadone, Vivienne Horne, Lindsey Lambertsen, Lauren LeClair, Kathryn Legg, Bianca Martinez Franco, Lauren Hazelton, Alexandra Mirabile, Natalie Picarazzi, Jasmine Powell, Margaret Saltis, Christina Vasto, Diana Voronko, Teller Wood, and Chelsea Youmans rendering beautiful harmonies from “You Are My Music” by Laura Farnell. The group of all-senior women was directed by Michelle McLoughlin, with accompaniment by Annette Boprey, and kudos were given to senior Lauren Hazelton as the group’s adept rehearsal accompanist.

Next the youngest group, the Sixth Grade Chorus directed by Carrie Styles and also accompanied by

Annette Boprey, began with a Beatles medley called “Ticket to Ride” that had the young singers exclaiming the “beep, beep, beep, beep yeah!” in their high-pitched young voices, eliciting a chuckle from the crowd.

The chorus also performed “When I Am Silent” by Joan C. Varner, a song about the Holocaust and an American folk tune arranged by Emily Crocker called Charlotte-Town.

Next was the Seventh and Eighth Grade Chorus, directed by Lesley Lopez with accompaniment by Janet Brooks.

The kids first performed “Bad Day”, made popular by Daniel Powter, with this arrangement by Alan Billingsley. Then it was on to the Greek “Kyrie” by Andrea Klouse, and then a song written to honor those who helped to foil the terrorists’ plot by bringing down United Airlines flight 93 which crashed in a field in Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001, “Song for the Unsung Hero” by Pamela and Joseph Martin.

Then it was time for the oldest kids, the High School Chorus, to take the stage. The ninth through twelfth graders were directed by Michelle McLoughlin, with accompaniment by Annette Boprey.

The group began with a song by composer Kevin Memley, who had set Lord George Gordon Byron’s poem “She Walks In Beauty” to music.

Always one to provide her students with a challenge, McLoughlin had assigned them the task of mastering the four parts of Alexi Matchavariani’s “Doluri” or drum dance, which was not accompanied by any instruments and had no proper words, just sounds to sing. The result was a crescendo of lively percussive voices. Finally, in “The Last Words of David” from II Samuel 23 by Randall Thompson, the well-trained vocalists performed in powerful yet hushed tones to the audience’s delight.

For the grand finale, all the choruses joined together, 240 voices strong, under the direction of Carrie Styles, and accompanied by Lesley Lopez for “The Song Has Just Begun” by Joseph M. Martin.

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