WARREN, NJ – Supporters of the Vocal Music program at Watchung Hills Regional High School flooded the Performing Arts Center on Friday, June 5, to hear hundreds of student singers bring down the house at the annual Spring Vocal Concert.
Some 64 singers performed in the Watchung Hills Chorus at the Vocal Concert, while 127 sang in the Advanced Choir. Many of the members of both choirs sang in select vocal ensembles and/or in senior solo performances. Ten student musicians performed as accompanists.
The Vocal Concert was conducted by Vocal Music Teacher Angela DiIorio Bird.
“My students have exceeded my expectations at this last concert,” said DiIorio Bird. “I am so proud of them for what they have accomplished. My seniors this year started out with me my first year as a teacher here at Watchung Hills. I have seen them grow into responsible, well-rounded young adults over these past four years. My heart is full.”
Two nights earlier, a packed Performing Arts Center gave retiring Music Teacher David Udell several standing ovations as they witnessed his last concert as conductor of the String Orchestra, Concert Band and Wind Ensemble as they performed 11 compositions at the annual Spring Instrumental Concert on Wednesday, June 3, at Watchung Hills Regional High School.
Some 28 students performed in the String orchestra, 71 in the Concert Band, and 61 in the Wind Ensemble at the instrumental concert.
Two seniors were recognized at the Spring Concert for their dedication to the extra-curricular group vocal ensembles. They are: Julia Golkin and Jaytin Gupta.
The Watchung Hills Chorus selections included: “Do You Hear the People Sing,” from “Les Miserables;” “Stand by Me,” by King, Leiber and Stoller; and “Waka Waka,” by Shakira, Mahola, Hill, Victor, Paul and Kojidie.
The selection of songs performed by the Advanced Choir included: “Anthem for Spring” from “Cavalleria Rusticana,” with solos performed by Sarah Kelly, Mariella Zijdel, David Kim and Michael Weinfeldt; “The Song That Goes Like This” from “Spamalot;” “Chicago: Choral Highlights,” with dance solo performed by Courtney Zawodniak and voice solos performed by Hannah Melillo and Silas Baker; “The Gods Love Nubia,” from “Aida,” with solos performed by Amelia Stepperfenne and Allison Horvath, and percussion performed by Matt Renzo; and “Time to Say Goodbye (Con Te Partiro),” with monologue performed by Judy Tounsi.
Performances by senior soloists included: “This is the Moment,” from “Jekyll and Hyde,” performed by Michael Weinfeldt; “Sweater Weather,” by “The Neighbourhood,” performed by Katrina Dumapit and Brianna Valente; and “Here for You,” by Jonathan Reid, performed by Rejy Drayton.
Performances by the Select Vocal Ensemble included: “How Will I Know,” by Merrill, Rubicam and Walden;” “For Good,” by Stephen Schwartz, with featured solists Julia Golkin, Krishti Bhaumik, and Veronica Mu; “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” by Raye and Prince; “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” by William Steffe; “Java Jive” as recorded by Manhattan Transfer, by Drake and Oakland; “Under the Boardwalk,” by Resnick and Young, featuring soloist Michael Weinfeldt; and “High Adventure,” from “Aladdin The Musical.”
The Combined Chorus performed “Seasons of Love” from “Rent,” by Jonathan Larson, featuring soloists Julia Sluyter, Rejy Drayton and Veronica Mu and percussion by Joe Bouffard.
The concert concluded with the annual singing of “Hallelujah,” from “The Messiah,” by Handel. Alumni, friends and family who are familiar with “The Hallelujah Chorus” were welcomed on stage to participate along with the combined choirs.