Performing arts students give Festival Disney preview concert

IMG_4005On Monday, Feb. 25, St. John’s Performing Arts Department held two concerts for the student body to showcase the musical selections they will perform at Festival Disney in Orlando, FL. AVS, Wind Ensemble, String Ensemble, Regimental Band, and Competition Jazz will travel to Orlando Feb. 28 through March 4, where they will compete against high schools from across the country.

The concerts began with several selections played by the Wind Ensemble, including Victor Lopez’s “Silver Winds,” which featured Victor Bofill ’22 on oboe; Ryan Main’s “Clash;” Leroy Anderson’s “Ticonderoga March;” James Swearingen’s arrangement of “Divinum Mysterium,” which featured Catherine Chua ’19 on french horn; and William Owens’ “Across the Great Plains.” The Wind Ensemble has spent weeks preparing to compete at Disney, even taking part in a masterclass led by Dr. Dennis Layendecker of George Mason University.

The String Ensemble then performed its selections, including “Matryoshka,” arranged by James Curnow and featuring Gemma Lindsay ’20 on violin; Gabriel Fabre’s “Elegie,” featuring William Moen ’21 on cello; Richard Meyer’s “Fantasia on a Theme on Thailand;” and “Amadeus” by Mozart.

AVS began its performances with a Gershwin Medley featuring the songs “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “I Got Rhythm,’ arranged by Jay Althouse. They also sang “Tabula Rasa,” with music by Don Macdonald and lyrics by Allison Girvan, and “Ain’t No Windin’ in the Road,” with music by Greg Gilpin and lyrics by John Parker. Gabby Williams ’19 and Gwen Yetter ’19 each sang solos.

St. John’s Competition Jazz Ensemble concluded the concerts, performing Dean Sorenson’s “A Chorus for Delores” and Henry Mancini’s “Slow Hot Wind,” both featuring Michael Fantom ’20 on the tenor saxophone; Stan Kenton’s “Artistry in Rhythm,” featuring solos by Jared Byrd ’19 on piano and Hunter Cooper ’20 on trombone; and Maynard Ferguson’s “Coconut Champagne,” featuring Justin Davis ’19 on baritone saxophone and Michael Penafiel ’19 on the drums.

Both performers and audience members enjoyed the concert. “The concert went pretty well. It is helpful for us as performers, because we get a chance to rehearse one more time and get out pre-performance jitters. More importantly, I enjoyed the chance to show off what we’ve been working on to the whole student body – the preview concept was a really great opportunity,”  said Allyson Clipper ’19, who plays clarinet in the Wind Ensemble.

Ben Zelaya ’22 was a member of the audience. He said “the performance was very energetic and lively. It was my first time seeing other SJC students perform music, and I’m happy that I got the opportunity to listen to these performances.”


Below: Watch the SJC Wind Ensemble perform Leroy Andersons Ticonderoga March.”


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