Annual Fall Concert Entertains the Winsor Community

By, Jamila O. ’19

On Tuesday, October 16, students and faculty gathered in the theater to celebrate and to honor the fall season with a selection of exceptional performances from some of Winsor’s many performing arts groups. The Upper School Percussion Ensemble kicked off the concert with a lively rendering of the jazz piece “Blue Monk” by Thelonious Monk. Following the Percussion Ensemble, Upper School Orchestra continued the instrumental portion of the concert with a rousing performance of an excerpt of “Dance Macabre.” The Lower School Drum, Strum & More class delighted the audience with a performance of the beloved ballad “This is Me” from movie musical The Greatest Showman. Upper School Chorale was up next with two exciting selections. The first was a powerful rendition of a traditional spiritual entitled “Keep Your Lamps,” and the second was an incredibly upbeat performance of the classic anthem “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi. Following Chorale, Small Chorus took the stage, first delivering a dynamic performance of the gospel ballad “Stand Upon the Rock!” by Rollo Dilworth followed by a rendition of “Summer is Over,” an intermezzo from the opera Cavalleria Rusticana. Small Chorus closed their performance with an exciting and engaging a-cappella mashup of the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” and MKTO’s “Classic,” arranged by Ryan Hutcherson. On this piece, Small Chorus director Ms. Taillacq reflected, “During my annual summer research for music that will best suit the particular group of singers that we have, I was especially excited to find [this new arrangement]…It really fit the bill of some great a cappella writing with lots of opportunities for solos.” Indeed, many soloists featured on this rendition were greeted with vigorous cheering and applause from energetic audience members. One member of Small Chorus remarked, “[despite the difficulty of the piece], when we got in front of an audience, we suddenly became inexplicably in sync with each other…it was like the whole atmosphere of the group had changed; I think we could sense the enthusiasm in the audience.” Finally, this year’s Senior Small made a superb debut with a stirring a-cappella arrangement of “Kaleidoscope Heart” by Sara Bareilles. Of Senior Small’s first performance, Senior Small president Julie Wilson ‘19 reflects, “I am so proud of senior small for tackling such a challenging piece! Looking back, I think we had a great first performance…senior small is also really excited about performing in the near future at SLAMP and the holiday concert — we have some really fun songs planned!”

The vast array of musical styles and genres featured in the show certainly engaged the audience in a dynamic, exciting celebration of the fall season while enjoying a deliberate variety of selections. Ms. Taillacq notes, “It was really fun for our singers to do a range of pieces from classical opera to inspirational spiritual and Gospel to Michael Jackson/MKTO and Bon Jovi! For me personally, it’s always a treat to see how well our students can embrace and adapt to so many different styles and to do them well!”

Students and faculty alike can look forward to the next showcase of the musical talent of Winsor’s many ensembles at the Holiday Concert, which will take place on Sunday, December 9 at 3 PM. According to Ms. Taillacq, the Holiday Concert will feature “seasonal and holiday favorites along with inspirational pieces, excerpts from classical masterworks, newly arranged works and other treats that focus on the joy of the season and the desire for peace and hope in our world” and, like the fall concert, “will sure to please a wide variety of musical tastes!” Nearly all of Winsor’s performing art groups, including the Lower School Chorus, Lower School Orchestra, Upper School Percussion Ensemble, Upper School Chamber Orchestra, Upper School Chorale, Small Chorus, and Senior Small, in addition to the Intergenerational Chorus and Orchestra composed of parents, students, faculty, and staff, will perform at the event.