Winter Concert II – A Standing Ovation!


On Thursday, December 19th, we again filled the South End with the sounds of beautiful music. This time our student musicians in grades 3 to 7 showed off their skills and their hard work in an astonishing array of ensembles. The Dudamel Brass led by Resident Artist Chris Schroeder set the seasonal stage with a specially arranged Deck the Halls Fanfare played across the top of the hall from balcony to balcony. Not to be outdone, the younger, Abbado Wind players answered with a Heroes March.

Our intermediate Abbado String Orchestra led by Resident Artist Josh Garver then took the stage. They played the Scherzo from M.J. Isaac’s Apollo Suite and then the traditional English folk tune, Greensleeves demonstrating their expressive playing and their smooth bow strokes. The orchestra finished with Burst! by Brian Balmages. Just as the name suggests, we saw fireworks while the students played.

unnamedFollowing the strings, we brought out two new ensembles. Led by Resident Artist Juan Ruiz, our newly created Goodman Ensemble, made up of all our clarinetists played Mozart’s Eine kleine Nachtmusik K.525 and a piece written by Mr. Ruiz, One More Time. Great acclaim for all! Next, our new middle schoolers, under the direction of band leader and Resident Artist Clayton DeWalt, played Simple Gifts and When the Saints Go Marching In. The audience clapped along and then clapped some more as Mr. DeWalt reminded us that these were all beginning musicians. We are so proud of their progress!

Following these groups, we heard from our experienced Winds musicians as the Dudamel Winds played the beautiful Motet No. 6 by Titcomb.  They were joined onstage by the Percussion Ensemble and then rocked the house with the Theme from I Dream of Jeanniea great new addition to our repertoire and inspired by our Resident Artists’ trip to Venezuela last April.  Our combined Percussion Ensemble, led by Resident Artist Tess Plotkin, kept up the beat with Cadence 4.0 by Campanelli.
Last, but not least, the Dudamel Orchestra, led by El Sistema Co-Director Adrian Anantawan, took the stage to play Pachelbel’s Canon in D and then ended the afternoon with the dynamic Raiders March, John Williams’ theme from The Raiders of the Lost Ark.  This song was dedicated to our departing middle school principal, Andres Cruz Torres.  For this piece, almost all of our Resident Artists joined the orchestra as they performed without a conductor, demonstrating the advanced level of musicianship of our top group.

These musicians (and their directors) earned their two weeks of rest. We are so proud of all our student musicians, and look forward to diving into our new semester!