Everett High School Gala Christmas Concert: December 20, Frederick F. Foresteire Center for the Performing Arts

Everett students, under the direction of Public Schools Coordinator of Music Eugene F. O’Brien, perform at the annual Gala Christ¬mas Concert held Dec. 29 at the Frederick F. Foresteire Center for the Performing Arts.

Everett High School’s Music Program was the star of the show at the annual performance of their Gala Christmas Concert 2011.

Students from all grade levels in the high school performed musical magic in the Frederick F. Foresteire Center for the Performing Arts for a very appreciative audience.  Under the direction of Everett Public Schools’ Coordinator of Music, Mr. Eugene F. O’Brien (also serving as the evening’s emcee), and the exceptional EHS Music Program staff, the holiday concert featured award-wining musical groups and included the Crimson Tide Percussion Ensemble, Jazz Band, Rock Band, Orchestra, and Band as well as the Vocal Ensemble, A Cappella Choir, and Show Choir.

A special performance of “All I Want for Christmas Is You” by a Lafayette sixth-grader, Baraka Salumu, and the EHS Show Choir received a standing ovation.

Past musical talent was also showcased when more than 80 High School music alumni returned to play in the concert, some coming from as far away as Georgia and Alabama.  EHS English teacher Jamie Somerville, an EHS 2006 graduate who played in the Marching and Concert Bands and the Percussion Ensemble, said “it really shows how much our high school’s Music Program still means to us.”

The Crimson Tide Percussion Ensemble led off with “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” and “Miniature Overture” from Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky, under the direction of Mr. Charles A. Poole, Director of Percussion.  The Vocal Ensemble, conducted by Ms. Nadia Monti, Director of Chorus, performed “The Snow Begins to Fall” with an arrangement by Andy Beck, and “December’s Keep” and “Prelude in C Minor” (arrangement by Greg Gilpin), both by Frederic Chopin.

The A Cappella Choir performed “Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming” by Michael Praetorius (arrangement by David Shand) and a vocal arrangement of “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky (arrangement by Jeff Funk), conducted by Ms. Nadia Monti.

The EHS Jazz Band/Jazz Combo performed “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” by Victor Lopez and “Swingin’ and Jinglin’” a syncopated version of the classic “Jingle Bells” by Terry White, under the direction of Mr. Todd Roberts, Director of Jazz Studies.

Conducted by Ms. Nadia Monti and choreographed by Dr. Laura Mulone, the EHS Show Choir performed “Oh Santa!” by Bryan Cox and Jermaine Dupri and “Deck the Rooftops” (by Adam Anders and Tim Davis) as recorded by the cast of the popular television show “Glee”.

Bringing an end to the first half of the program, the EHS Rock Band, accompanied by three guitars, performed Trans Siberian Orchestra’s arrangements of “First Snow” and “Carol of the Bells”, conducted by Mr. Eugene F. O’Brien.

The EHS Orchestra, conducted by Mr. Maciej Kaczmarek, Director of Orchestra, opened the second half of the program with selections from Nutcracker Suite by Tchaikovsky and holiday favorites “Jolly Old St. Nicholas”, “Jingle Bells”, and “Frosty the Snowman”.

The Combined Ensembles performed “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson under the direction of Mr. Eric Holmes, Marching Band Director and Mr. Maciej Kaczmarek, a “Christmas Sing-along” and the traditional version of “Ukranian Bell Carol”.  A musical version of the famous Christmas story, T’was the Night Before Christmas by Jack Bullock, was also performed with narration by EHS Principal, Mr. Louis Baldi.

The final performance of the evening featured EHS Band with Alumni and Friends, conducted by Mr. Eugene F. O’Brien.  Selections included “Finale” from Russian Christmas Music, the traditional carol “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”, “Chaunakah Folk Song” by Nicholas Forte, “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss, “O Holy Night” by Adolphe Adam, and a traditional arrangement of “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town!” with a special appearance of Santa Claus himself at the end of the concert.

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