Music Department Wows Crowd at Annual Spring Concert


Photo courtesy of Elena McDonald

The orchestra, conducted by Alyssa White, performs for the audience

LHS held its first spring concert since the pandemic on May 25. It began with the symphonic band, directed by band teacher Brian White. The night opened with the song “Sound Off” by John Philip Sousa, followed by “Novena” by James Swearingen and “Deerpath Dances” by David R. Holsinger. White then led the band into its final song, which was a rocking Rolling Stones medley. 

Second in the lineup was the chorus, directed by teachers Barry Wyner and Timothy Waldvogel. The two would switch off conducting throughout the chorus’ performance. The chorus started its performance with songs “Jai Ho” by A.R. Rahman, “Something’s Coming/Tonight” (from West Side Story) by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim, “Omnia Sol” (Let Your Heart Be Staid) by Z. Randall Stroope, and “Take Me to the Water” (a traditional American spiritual). Its time on stage ended with a rendition of “The Greatest Showman (Choral Highlights)” by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Songs “Jai Ho,” “Something’s Coming/Tonight,” and “The Greatest Showman” had amazing vocals thanks to the talented soloists.

Following the chorus was the concert choir; it was conducted by Wyner while Waldvogel played alongside other instrumentalists. The concert choir’s program featured a song for mental health awareness month called “Secret for the Mad” by Dodie Clark. It also included pieces such as “Will the Circle be Broken” by Appalachian Hymn, “Water Fountain” by Nathaniel Brenner and Merril Garbus, and “Thankful” by Carole Bayer Sager, David Foster, and Richard Page. Its second-to-last song, “New Beginnings” by Jim Papoulis, said goodbye to this year’s graduating class. Senior Julia Swerdin stated, “The songs worked well because they fit the mood of saying goodbye, which we are all doing in some way or another, either to Mr. Rainis, to the graduating seniors, or to the end of the school year.”

The orchestra was the penultimate performance and captivated the audience with a chilling but beautiful rendition of songs from Phantom of the Opera. Along with this, it performed songs “Iditarod” by Soon Hee Newbold and “Scheherazade” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, all directed by orchestra teacher Alyssa White. Sophomore Amanda McDonald said, “Scheherazade was my favorite because it was a fast tempo song. I also enjoyed Phantom of the Opera because it is well known.” She continued, “I thought the songs were amazing. The songs chosen were fun to play.”

The final performance of the evening was the wind ensemble band, directed by Brian White. It ended the night with a medley of Led Zeppelin as well as “Excel” by John M. Pasternak, “Metal” by Brian Balmages, and “Overture to Candide” by Leonard Bernstein. Junior Ezekiel Callahan said that “Overture to Candide” was his favorite song played: “This band was able to say goodnight with their amazing performance.”

Even though this concert was about music, Principal Joseph Rainis–who was hosting his last concert before retirement–lightened the mood with a little comedy. In between performances, he started telling jokes, distracting the crowd from waiting for each section to be ready. 

Overall, the spring concert was memorable in many ways. The chorus, soloists, concert choir, orchestra, and bands all put on performances for the record books, and the audience thoroughly enjoyed the night of music and fun.