Upper school orchestra, choir, a capella give preview of Winter Concert

Upper+school+choir+sings+%22Linden+Lea+Lee%22+by+composer+Ralph+Vaughan+Williams.+Orchestra%2C+choir+and+a+capella+have+been+working+on+the+concert+this+whole+semester.
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Upper school orchestra, choir, a capella give preview of Winter Concert

Upper school choir sings

Upper school choir sings "Linden Lea Lee" by composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. Orchestra, choir and a capella have been working on the concert this whole semester.

Photo credit: Lola Lamberg

Upper school choir sings "Linden Lea Lee" by composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. Orchestra, choir and a capella have been working on the concert this whole semester.

Photo credit: Lola Lamberg

Photo credit: Lola Lamberg

Upper school choir sings "Linden Lea Lee" by composer Ralph Vaughan Williams. Orchestra, choir and a capella have been working on the concert this whole semester.

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Voices, violins, a capella pitches and more filled the dining hall on Dec. 19 as upper school students, staff and faculty gathered to experience a preview of Archer’s upcoming annual Winter Concert.

Upper school orchestra began the 30-minute preview with a piece entitled “Ice Sculptures” by composer Brian Balmages. Conducted by orchestra director Susan Smith, the orchestra, comprised of students from all grades of high school, finished off their sneak peek with the winter-inspired song, “It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year” by singer Andy Williams.

Bass player Amanda Greene (’21) said that tech week leading up to the show can be stressful, but that the final performance is always worth it.

“Overall, it’s a lot of fun to be with friends and perform and put on a show we’ve been working on all semester,” Greene said. “It’s very satisfying and rewarding.”

The upper school choir stepped onto the stage next, led by new choir director Megan Hook. The upper school’s choir preview consisted of the song “Linden Lea Lee” by composer Ralph Vaughan Williams followed by a rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.

Hook commented on the”diverse repertoire” of songs upper school choir will showcase in this year’s winter concert.

“The upper school choir really thrived and challenged themselves by learning some classical pieces as well as Bohemian Rhapsody — which is such a wonderful song, but is actually extremely difficult,” Hook said. “I am so proud of how hard they’ve worked because it hasn’t been the easiest program. But, I also sense they’re feeling really gratified by seeing it all come together.”

Choir soprano Gabriela Ayala (’21) feels the “worthiness” of the hard work put in as she said the long hours were worth the bonding time with her classmates.

“The best part is bonding with the other choristers for sure,” Ayala said, “making a lot of new friends across the grades, just bonding and being with them.”

The final group to perform during the community connections time was the upper school a cappella group: the Unaccompanied Minors. The girls performed a mashup, arranged by senior Emma Golden, of Ariana Grande songs including “God is a Woman” and “No Tears Left To Cry.” They finished off the winter concert preview performing the classic folk song by composer Robert Burns, “Auld Lang Syne.”

Golden, who is the pitch pipe leader for the a cappella group, started writing arrangements in 2016 . This is the third arrangement of hers the Unaccompanied Minors have performed.

“I love being able to see something I wrote be performed on stage,” Golden said. “I loved the fact that it’s a funny pop-y sing-a-long kind of song when we have a lot of other more classical ones in [the winter concert].”

The Winter Concert was held at 6:30 p.m. in Archer’s dining hall on Dec. 19 and Dec. 20.

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