Curtain Raiser Concert Kicks Off the School Year

Ellie Ostroff, Contributing Writer

Three hundred fifteen students. Seven superb performances. A packed auditorium. Welcome to the Glenbard West Music Program’s Curtain Raiser Concert.

On Monday, September 14th, Glenbard West’s Orchestra, Band, and Choir programs opened the year with their annual introductory concert, sponsored by the Association of Music Parents, or AMP. Four choirs, the Glenbard West Concert Band, and the Glenbard West Chamber Orchestra each presented a piece before joining together to finish the concert with the Glenbard West fight song.

The concert opened with a short AMP meeting about the AMP elections, fundraisers, and budget. AMP is a parent organization that holds several fundraisers every year to supplement school funding for the band, orchestra, and choir programs here at Glenbard West.

AMP President Tricia Posegay opened the meeting by holding a vote on the reelection of AMP board members. The motion to re-elect all of AMP’s current board members was passed. Later, Mrs. Posegay spoke about AMP membership and how parents can become involved. (If you are interested in either volunteering time or donating funds for AMP, visit the AMP website at glenbardwestamp.org.) The meeting was closed with the passage of the motion to approve AMP’s new budget of $27,000.

The first music group to perform was Glenbard West’s Treble Choir, conducted by Andrew Jeffreys, the Choir Director. The choir sang “The Arrow and The Song,” a poem by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow that had been put to music.

The next performance was by the combined Concert and Baritone Choirs. These choirs presented a piece of music titled “Invalda” by Felix Mendelssohn. Mendelssohn is renowned for his compositions and is considered one of the great Romantic musicians and composers.

The Glenbard West Chamber Orchestra was the next musical group to perform. The Orchestra played a musical piece titled “Alegria,” conducted by Bill Ortega and accompanied by two trumpet players. “Alegria” is a mariachi composition by Johann Sebastian Bach, a famous composer from the Baroque period. The song was arranged by Luis “Tito” Talamantes.

Advanced Treble Choir took the stage after Orchestra. Directed by Mr. Jeffreys, the choir sang “Coronach,” a musical piece composed by Franz Schubert that set Sir Walter Scott’s poem “Lady of the Lake” to music. Next, the Chamber Choir performed a traditional Norwegian lullaby.

Finally, Glenbard West’s Concert Band presented their song, “Africa.” The band’s drummers preceded the rest of the band members, coming into the auditorium from the hallway. After the drum solo, the remaining band students ran into the auditorium, assembled on the stage and risers, and began to play their musical piece while Band Director Jon Walsh directed from the pit and several student conductors directed from the aisles.

The concert concluded with the Glenbard West fight song, performed by the Band and Orchestra students and sung by the Choir students. The audience was full of school spirit; everyone was on their feet and singing enthusiastically at the top of their lungs.

After this exciting finale, the first concert of the year was deemed a success by many parents and students.

“The music choices were [great] and I thought there was a lot of variety,” said Tiffany Powell, a senior in the Glenbard West Orchestra, about the concert.

Emily Gaertner, a sophomore in the Glenbard West Band, agreed with Powell, stating, “I thought [the concert] went really well and I always enjoy seeing the other musical groups perform.”

The next Glenbard West concerts are October 8 for Band, October 22 for Choir, and October 27 for Orchestra.