Winsor and RL Concert

By, Leslie Moukheiber

Throughout the Winsor and Roxbury Latin concert, attendees were transported to a mystical and musical land through songs like Karl Jenkin’s epic “Adiemus,” Brahm’s enchanting “Three Love Songs,” and Leonard Bernstein’s show-stopping Mass. This year’s joint concert between Winsor and Roxbury Latin contained an impressive variety of music, and the hard work of the singers at both schools was displayed on Sunday at 6 p.m., March 4. The event was held at Roxbury Latin this year. The spring concert is an important performance. Students work hard to learn the pieces for the concert as well as memorize everything they will be singing, with the exception of the joint piece. However, students report that the hard work is worth it. Andrew W. ’18, a senior at Roxbury Latin and member of the Glee Club and the a capella group, Latonics, says, “I love the concert because it gives everyone the opportunity to experience a mixed choral setting with an orchestra. While both choirs’ regular repertoires are exciting and fun to perform, this high-production-value event really shows everyone the true potential of choral singing.”

Additionally, the performance is not without a great deal of organization and collaboration on the teacher’s end. Lisa Taillacq, one of the conductors and organizers of the event, remarks, “I am very excited about this years concert! Mr. Opdycke and I spend months going back and forth with ideas for our joint pieces before making our decision. We have worked together for many years and have learned that there are lots of pieces to the puzzle in preparing works like these and hundreds of different variables to consider. However, when we have our first joint rehearsal with the RL boys, it’s always thrilling to hear the full chorus sound: from the lowest bass to the highest soprano and everything in between!” Such a tone was definitely displayed Sunday night. In the portion of the concert sung by Winsor, Chorale, which includes Small Chorus, began with singing a tradition folk song, “Cross the Wide Missouri,” and continued into “Adiemus,” a piece by Karl Jenkin. Chorale then proceeded with the classic “Tonight” by Leonard Bernstein from the popular musical, West Side Story. The quick pace and elated mood of “Tonight” left the audience breathless and cheerful. What is great about this part of the performance is these pieces are sung by both Chorale and Small Chorus. Elizabeth X. ’20 reflects, “It’s really nice getting to sing and work with Small Chorus especially when we split voice parts. With different harmonies, I really have to listen carefully to make sure I am actually singing the right notes. The girls in Small Chorus are also there to help us out as well as create a fuller sound.”

The concert then continued with Winsor’s Small Chorus taking the stage singing some of the beautifully done songs from the fall concert, as well as new pieces. Specifically, Small Chorus sang a collection of songs called “Three Love Songs” by Johannes Brahms. These three tender pieces tell captivating love stories, and, most impressively, all were sung in German. Small Chorus also sang “Shadows of the Night,” originally sung by Pat Benatar and arranged by the Jackson Jills a cappella group of Tufts University; “Shadows” was last performed with the Jackson Jills at the Collect Unidos A Cappella Concert. Soloists Kayla L. ’19 and Julie W. ’19 did an incredible job!

The most prominent and powerful part of the concert was the end, when both Winsor and Roxbury Latin singers joined together into one choir and performed Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. Before the concert, Kayla, who is an alto in Small Chorus, remarked, “I’m excited to sing in the joint concert in RL because the addition of the guys gives a new depth to our performances.” The combination of female and male voices builds a full and resonating sound that completely fills the auditorium. Audiences members were amazed by the power of these combined voices. The Mass was sung passionately, evident in the powerful stomping in the Agnus Dei. The concert concluded with the final prayer in Bernstein’s Mass and the audiences was left with the choir’s powerful “amen” still ringing in their ears. It was a spectacular performance and will be just as incredible next year.