RANDOLPH, NJ-- Randolph Middle School music students performed pieces ranging from show tunes to classical concertos before at a rapt audience at the Select Ensemble Winter Concert, held at the RMS Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, Jan. 15, at 7:00 PM. 

The first to perform was the Percussion Ensemble, conducted by music teacher Anthony Eskin. They kicked off the concert by playing “Under the Sea,” arranged by Will Rapp, a song most of the audience could recognize and follow along with. 

The Canzonetta performed next, conducted by music teacher Ann Kelly. After performing their first song, “Festival Sanctus,” Kelly introduced the next song, “The Stars Are with the Voyager,” with a nod to its student conductor. “We are very lucky to have RHS senior Andrew Hanrahan,'' she said. “He chose and taught our next piece, and as well will be conducting it.”

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After Hanrahan’s performance, the last song the Canzonetta performed was “Defying Gravity,” from the Broadway show, Wicked. This was a riveting performance that captured the room’s attention. 

Following the Canzonetta was the Jazz Ensemble, led by music teacher Tom Davidson. The first song played was “The Herald Angel Swing,” featuring Kevin Tish as the trumpet soloist. The students then ended their performance with “String of Pearls,” which featured tenor sax soloist, Darren Gao, as well as alto sax soloists Jane Doran & Katelyn Ford. 

The concert ended with the Con Brio, whom their director, Mrs. Genevieve Sallemi, called,  “a wonderful group of string students.” They first played “Brandenburg Concerto #5,” followed by “Sweet Petite Winter Suite,” which included three different pieces: “Candy Canes, ''Hot Chocolate,” and “Gingerbread Man.” 

“We have been working diligently over the past couple of months,”  Sallemi said. “I’m very very proud of this group.” Their hard work seemed to have paid off due to the praise they received from the audience.

“I felt the concert was a wonderful way for young musicians to express themselves through their pieces,” said Ara Buan, who attended the concert. “It shows how hard they worked throughout the year to perform their music and show how passionate they are about it.”

The RMS Ensembles are currently preparing to perform at The Jazz Coffeehouse on Jan. 29-30 as well as the Cabaret on Feb. 7, both of which will be held at Randolph High School. 

Editor’s Note: Zara Faizi and Sarah Halpern are students at Randolph High School participating in a journalism program with TAP into Randolph.