RANDOLPH, NJ- After being rescheduled due to icy weather, five of Randolph High School’s music ensembles performed their winter concert for friends and family.
“I like listening to the other ensembles,” noted Ashley Poskitt, a member of the Concert Band. “We don’t get to hear what choir and orchestra do, so it’s a great chance to see what other groups have been working on all school year.”
The concert, which was originally scheduled for Monday, was moved to the snow date for the safety of the students and parents. Even so, numerous squalls Wednesday night made it difficult for people to get to and from the school. But even with students missing, the concert continued.
The first ensemble to perform was Concert Band, directed by Michael S. Lichtenfeld. They first played Three Moods of Hanukkah, featuring three traditional folk songs, arranged by Lennie Niehaus. Next was Silent Night, arranged by James Swearingen, a holiday classic that most people were able to recognize. They rounded out their set with A Jingle Bells Fantasy by James Lord Pierpont.
Wind Ensemble played next, conducted by Nick J. Fantazzi. They first played Resplendent Glory by Rossano Galante. They next performed Symphonic Prelude on Adeste Fidelis by Claude T. Smith. Finally, they played Toboggan Ride by Stan Applebaum; three pieces that surely got the audience into the holiday spirit.
Concert Choir followed, conducted by Matthew Swiss, an alumni of RHS. The choir sang four songs, beginning with Hanukah Fantasy, an arrangement including “Ma’oz Tzur”, “I Have a Little Dreidel”, “Jerusalem of Gold”, “Hanukah, O Hanukah”, with senior Anna Matjucha and junior Olivia Scanzera having featured solos. Next was “Of a Rose”, a movement from Magnificat, their extended work for the year. They ended with “O Holy Night” and “Hallelujah”, two holiday classics that are featured in Noel (Night of Everlasting Love, the same work that is sung at Disney World during the holidays.
The concert ended with the two orchestra ensembles, beginning with Chamber Strings, led by director Eric L. Schaberg. They began with Italian Symphony (Symphony No. 4, First Movement) by Felix Mendel, followed by Hatikvah, a traditional Hebrew melody. They ended with Fiddle Faddle, requesting the help of the choir and the audience to sing during certain sections of the piece.
The final ensemble to play was Symphonic Orchestra, with Eric Schaberg directing. This ensemble seamlessly blends both orchestra and band into one, cohesive group, providing a different sound to the previous ensembles. They began with New World Symphony (4th Movement) by Antonin Dvorak, arranged by Vernon Leidig. The last song of the night was The Bells of Christmas, featuring five holiday songs (Ding Dong! Merrily on High, The Bell Carol, Silver Bells, I heard the Bells on Christmas Day, and Jingle Bells), with audience members recognizing at least one of these iconic songs.
Although the Winter Concert faced difficulties with the colder weather, it was still a great way for students to show their parents everything they have accomplished so far. To hear some of these great ensembles perform, come to the 8th Annual Jazz Coffeehouse on Jan. 29, the 9th Annual Cabaret on Feb. 7, or String Fest on Feb. 24.
Editor's Note:Emma Wesolowski is a student at RHS participating in a journalism program with TAPinto Randolph.