By, Jamila O. ’19
On Thursday, April 26, the entire Winsor community gathered in the auditorium to celebrate the spring season with the annual Spring Concert. The concert featured a great range of musical selections and included pieces from a variety of genres, regions, and languages. Choral director Ms. T. greatly enjoyed selecting the diversity of choral pieces for this concert. “In order to be well educated as singers,” she said, “it’s important to give our students a well-rounded choral education that gives them the exposure and experience of singing a breadth of genres over the course of an academic year.”
Lower School Chorus opened the concert with three heartening performances. The first was a Baroque Italian art song written by Francesco Durante. The next was the late 20th century Spanish lullaby “Duerme, pequeño mar,” or “Sleep, my little sea,” written by composer Josu Elberdin. Lower School Chorus’ final number was “Consider Yourself” from the musical Oliver!, written by Lionel Bart and arranged by Norman Leyden. Next, Upper School Chamber Orchestra performed two stirring pieces: “Gavotte” and “Tango in D,” both of which demonstrated the musicians’ individual artistry and impressive cohesiveness as a musical ensemble.
Chorale and Small Chorus followed with rousing, collaborative renditions of three inspired pieces, the first of which was the uplifting gospel piece “Lean on Me” by Kirk Franklin. The second, entitled “Lamma Badaa Yetethanna,” is a traditional Adalusian/Arabic song sung in Arabic.
Ms. T. remarked that she was particularly fond of this selection, sharing that she loved teaching it due to its “10/4 meter, beautiful, haunting ornamented melody along with the lovely instrumental parts.” She said, “Learning the Arabic text was challenging at first but very rewarding in the end!” For their final selection, Chorale performed a rendition of “Tonight” from the musical West Side Story in celebration of composer Leonard Bernstein’s 100th anniversary. Senior Small then delivered an upbeat and memorable performance of “FourFiveSeconds,” produced and arranged by Noah Goldstein, Kirby Lauryen, Dave Longstreth, Elon Rutberg, Ty Dolla $ign, Kanye West, and sung by West, Rihanna, and Paul McCartney. Their a cappella adaptation of this popular song was both a welcome callback to their initial performance of the piece at Jamnesty this past February and an outstanding finale for this year’s Senior Small, as their arrangement highlighted all five seniors as soloists.
Small Chorus closed the show with three pieces. The first, entitled “Healing River,” was a soothing Gospel number highlighting the importance of hope, resilience, and freedom.
The next piece was an unforgettable rendition of “Aglepta,” which was commissioned for the first children’s choir competition hosted by the Swedish Broadcasting Company in 1970. This unique piece excited surprise, laughter, and much applause from the audience, who was struck by its creative use of sound and tone. Small Chorus member Teresa L. ’19 enjoyed the response that the performance received. She shared, “We obviously knew that there would be a pretty dramatic reaction to it when we performed it, so we had to be professional and embrace the ‘weirdness,’ for lack of a better word… as artists, it’s our job to try things that are new or different or even strange in order to bring the audience a variety of cool music.”
Ms. T. shared that she “loved directing this very unusual piece,” as it “really stretched singers (and audience!) to produce so many different kinds of vocal demands that were out of the ordinary, yet sometimes needing to find an exact and precise pitch in the middle of dissonant tone clusters.”
Finally, Small Chorus performed the Tufts Jackson Jills’ a cappella arrangement of “Shadows of the Night” by Pat Benatar to close what is sure to be remembered as both an exemplary showcase of musical talent and a vibrant celebration of the spring season!