SPOTSWOOD, NJ - With flowers as a backdrip, Spotswood High School's musicians took over the Spotswood High School Cafetorium on Thursday for the program's annual spring concert. Under the direction of veteran Band Director Sarah Carino-Koza, the concert showcased the high school's musical talent with a delightfully entertaining evening of music.
Senior Amie Coraggio opened the show with an enjoyable flute solo. Coraggio was accompanied on the piano by Carino-Koza as she expertly performed the piece "Fantaisie, Op. 79,1 Andantino." Next up was an instrumental duet that featured Memorial Middle School Band and Choral Director Christina Restine and Carino-Koza. Restine is a former student of Carino-Koza and the pair are now Spotswood School District colleagues. Carino-Koza played the piano while Restine played the flute on Aaron Copeland's "I. Flowing."
"Performing with Sarah is such a treat because we have so many common musical ideas due to our long musical history," Restine said of playing along side Carino-Koza. "We agreed on phrasing, speed and have great non-verbal communication. These skills which can be difficult when collaborating with someone that I'm not familiar with."
Then, it was time for the 20 member Percussion Ensemble to take center stage to perform three toe-tapping numbers. The Percussion Ensemble is comprised of 20 students who were interested in being a part of the group that began meeting for 90 minutes on Friday afternoons after the new year began in January. The group first performed at March's Jazz and Such concert and includes some developing musicians who are not normally percussionists.
After a brief intermission to allow for a stage change and to give audience members the opportunity to enjoy the annual Spring Art Show in the Media Center, the Concert Band came onstage to perform three numbers, including "African Dreams," "Earthsong" and "Caliber." The Honors Wind Ensemble concluded the musical showcase with a three selection performance. Students must audition to be a part of the Honors Wind Ensemble. One selection, "An American Elegy" featured Coraggio and Rachel Lee on flute, Maia Revilla on French horn and Ronald Contard on the trumpet.
Before ending the compelling evening of music, Carino-Koza acknowledged the graduating seniors, many of whom have spent four years in the program prior to picking up their musical instrument in elementary school.