Conservatory Lab held its Winter Showcase on January 11, 2020, at the historic Strand Theatre in Upham’s Corner. It is just around the corner from our Lower School in Dorchester, and only a few blocks from where our new building is being constructed. Conservatory Lab believes in offering students opportunities to share and celebrate their work through live performances. The Winter Showcase was no exception, and the crowd lauded students in each of the three concerts.
Sixth grader Perpetua B. kicked off the first concert of the day by welcoming the audience with a rap to “Be Our Guest.” She was accompanied by the lower strings from our Parker, Mingus, and Ellington Orchestras (cellos and basses grades 4-6). Our music program offers students opportunities for leadership and collaboration and our entire community was thrilled to see Perpetua rise to the occasion in this vibrant re-mix of the Disney movie classic by Alan Minkin, arranged by our very own Resident Artist, Brad Barrett.
The rest of the first performance featured classics from Stravinsky and Dvorak, standards such as “When the Saints Go Marching In” by Katharine Purvis and James Milton Black, a new arrangement of traditional Puerto Rican music by Aristedes Rivas, and some tunes by Herbie Hancock and Duke Ellington where students stood up to improvise solos.
Our midday concert featured students in the Celia Cruz, Aretha Franklin, and Esperanza Spalding Orchestras (grades 1, 2, and 3). First graders dazzled in their second public performance and were followed by the second grade who brought the house down with their rendition of “We Will Rock You,” by Brian May of Queen. The third grade finished out with a set including “Ode to Joy” by Ludwig von Beethoven.
Our final concert of the day opened with the Pre-K and Kindergarten students welcoming the crowd singing Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready,” followed by a varied repertoire of vocal and percussion music from Africa, Spain, and Germany.
The Dudamel String Orchestra (Grades 7 & 8) then took the stage and wowed the audience with their renditions of “Dragon Hunter,” by Richard Meyer; “Playful Pizzicato,” by modernist composer Benjamin Britten, and a reprise of the Aristides Rivas piece, “Suite Boricua.”
Closing out the show with a bang, the Dudamel Winds, Brass, and Percussion (Grades 7 & 8) gave a stellar performance of the popular 1980’s hit “The Final Countdown,” jazz improvisations on “Afro Blue” by Mongo Santamaria, and a medley of music from “Pirates of the Caribbean” by Klaus Badelt which was arranged for band by Michael Brown.
Every day students collaborate, mentor one another, and persevere, creating beautiful music together. We love these performances as they provide an opportunity for our community to come together and celebrate our student musicians and their ensembles while also enabling our students to see and hear each other perform – an opportunity that is not always afforded by the regular school day.
We are so proud of all of our students as both performers and audience members, sharing in the resonant sounds of success.