Music Winter Concert Recap


Ellie Ostroff, Contributing Writer

On December 9th, underneath the bright lights of the Glenbard West auditorium, amidst dozens of vibrant poinsettias, the 315 West Music students gathered onto and around the stage to perform the final number of the night, “It’s the Holiday Season.” The last performance of the spectacular Winter Music Festival concert was a smash hit and ended the night on a wonderful, joyous note.

West’s Symphonic Band kicked the night off with the beautiful “Fanfare for the Common Man,” conducted by band director Jonathan Walsh. The music echoed through the chamber with perfect acoustics; the students were positioned around the auditorium so that the sound surrounded the audience, washing over them, creating a 360-degree musical experience.

The crowd continued to be amazed as the wonderful, spot-on performances continued. The Treble Choir, conducted by choir director Andrew Jeffrey and accompanied by Colleen Ortega on piano, sang “Deo Gracias” from Ceremony of Carols by Benjamin Britten. Principal cellist Julia Ilhardt also accompanied the Treble Choir on the harp. The lively song was complemented by the exquisite accompaniment, and the Treble Choir received massive applause from the appreciative crowd.

This outstanding performance was followed by “The Night Before Christmas,” a creative song performed by the Symphonic Band that was accompanied by narrator Nate Richmond. Mr. Richmond read the poem, “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” and his expressive storytelling captivated the audience as they listened to the poem and the splendid musical composition. One felt as if they were actually witnessing the events of the poem occur as Mr. Richmond narrated and as the band created musical sentences to match the words of the wonderful story.

If the audience believed the concert could not possibly improve, they were soon to be proven wrong. The students of Glenbard West continued to deliver magnificent performances upon performances. The Advanced Treble Choir, singing the musical composition “The Snow,” was accompanied by a superb violin duet, performed by soloists Cassie Kim and Ellen Maloney. Mesmerized, the crowd listened to the beautiful choral piece and the soulful violin music that so beautifully complemented it. The Advanced Treble Choir finished their presentation to ear-splitting applause.

The Glenbard West Concert Orchestra continued the string of excellent performances with “Praeludium and Allegro in the style of Gaetano Pugnani.” This song was a beautiful, powerful piece that featured violin soloist Ellen Maloney, the Illinois Music Educators’ Association District 9 Concert mistress. Her fingers flying across the violin’s fingerboard, Ms. Maloney finished her solo with an artful flourish, to thunderous applause and a standing ovation from the amazed audience. The next musical piece, “Masters In This Hall,” also featured a violin soloist, senior Cassie Kim. Ms. Kim executed her solo with mastery, and the orchestra played the composition with skill and grace, receiving another standing ovation from the crowd.

The night of phenomenal performances ended with a spectacular bang as the Treble, Chamber, Advanced Chamber, and Concert Choirs took to the risers, the Symphonic and Concert bands took their seats on stage, and the Concert Orchestra spread across the platforms for a combined ensemble piece. These seven musical groups performed a fun, cheerful holiday medley titled “It’s the Holiday Season.” Consisting of “It’s the Holiday Season,” “Happy Holidays,” and “Let it Snow,” the students moved with the music and the audience sang along to the classic carols. Brightening the whole auditorium, the song brought smiles to everyone’s faces and was a fantastic conclusion to a fabulous concert.

The next Glenbard West Band Concert is on February 25th at 7:30 p.m., and the next Choir and Orchestra Concert is on March 15th at 7:30 p.m. Mark your calendars!