Student musicians perform in annual winter concerts

Lily Labella, Contributing Writer

Music is in the air this holiday season as the musicians of Schreiber’s music department have been busily preparing for this year’s winter concert.

On Dec. 19, the freshman orchestra, band, and choir held their first high school performance on the same night as the string orchestra and symphonic band.

The freshman orchestra, conducted by Mrs. Carol Garofalo, played various songs including Autumn (Four Seasons), Overture to Lucia Silla, and North County Legend.  The band, under the direction of Mr. Shane Helfner, played Kinetic Dances, Novena, and the time-honored Polar Express in honor of the holiday season.  Mr. Matthew Gawronski’s freshman choir sang Ode to Joy, Adoramous, Glow, and Tutakwenda.  

“I was super impressed by the freshmen and how gracefully they performed their pieces,” said senior Carlin Steincke.

Following the freshman music groups, Schreiber’s string orchestra led by Mr. Anthony Pinelli played three variations of The Nutcracker March, Sugar Plum Fairy, Trepak Serenade for Strings, and Brevard Sketches.  The Nutcracker pieces were included to emulate the holiday cheer.

The last group to perform was Mr. Aaron Prindle’s symphonic band, which consists of students who play instruments of the woodwind, brass, and percussion families of instruments, along with the double bass or bass guitar. The band’s set included pieces titled Infamy, Festival for Band, and Evening Star.

At the end, the musicians all received resounding applause from community spectators.

“I was amazed at how incredibly students performed. Every time I see the band and orchestra play I am more impressed than last time,” said senior Caitlin Kane.

On Dec. 20, the following night, another concert allowed the symphony orchestra, concert band, and mixed choir to showcase their talents and hard work as well.

The symphony orchestra began their performance with Romanian Folk Dance, Rigadoon, Saraban, and Hoedown under Mr. Pinelli’s conduction.  Mr. Helfner’s concert band played Songs of Sailor and the Sea, Cry of the Last Unicorn, Perthshire Majesty, and Flight of the Piasa.  Meanwhile, the mixed choir’s selection included Voice of Singing, Flanders Fields, and Rock of Ages, directed by Mr. John Spiezio.

The song Hallelujah was also performed, as the orchestra and chorus students collaborated to delight onlookers. To close off the night, all three ensembles united their musical talents for the grand finale: Ode to Joy.

However, not only is Ode to Joy the winter concert’s traditional closing song, but it also comes with a surprise for the audience.  As Schreiber’s current musicians performed, alumni also went to join them on the stage.

The event also attempted to spread holiday cheer through decorations around the auditorium and Schreiber lobby. 

“People welcome attendees with Christmas carols, Christmas music, and festive artwork, which really contributes to the holiday theme,” said sophomore Yazmeen Deynimj.

Parents, siblings and relatives were all invited to enjoy these concerts, but the event was also free and open to all Port Washington residents.  As usual, the winter concert was a memorable event for many Schreiber students, teachers, and alumni to spread holiday cheer within Schreiber’s community and beyond.