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Choir and orchestra collaborate to perform annual winter concert

Dylan Jackson
Senior Izzy Rampersad performs “Chichester Psalms” with the orchestra in the PAC for a performance for elementary schools.


The school choir will perform their winter concert, in collaboration with the school’s orchestra, on December 14.

“One of the hallmarks of the winter concerts for many years has been a collaboration between some of the choirs and the orchestra,” Choir Director Courtney Rowley said.

This year, the piece the groups are performing together is called Chichester Psalms, written by Leonard Bernstein.

“That is the main piece that anchors this concert,” Rowley said.

In addition to this composition, the choir will be performing a number of other songs.

“Jazz and chamber choir usually end up singing some amazing Christmas songs,” senior Nathalie Stanley said.

Stanley has been in the Advanced Chorale choir since her sophomore year, and they’ve been in a choir since elementary school.

“Normally there’s not a specific theme,” Stanley said. “We kind of just sing what Ms. Rowley gives us.”

Stanley said that sometimes Rowley has the different choirs singing Christmas songs, or songs specific to certain cultures, but Rowley always has her students figure out what these songs mean to them personally.

“If we do music from another culture, we reach out to a culture barer from that culture,” Rowley said.

Additionally, when the choir performs religious music,   Rowley talks with her students about how they can find meaning in the music for themselves, even if they don’t celebrate Christmas.

“If we do a piece that’s a holiday piece, the question is always, is there a purpose for it?” Rowley said.

Rowley always chooses pieces based on whether it makes sense musically for her choirs to perform it, and whether the students can learn from it.

“My overall drive for choosing music is to introduce my students to as large of a variety of music as possible,” Rowley said.

Rowley’s students appreciate the music they perform, and generally enjoy the choir program.

“It’s a great program,” said Stanley. “The fact that we’re able to raise so much money for people who have scholarships is amazing.”

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