Combining Music and Poetry Makes for a Fantastic PHS Winter Concert
December 31, 2015
by Rhiannon Snide
After a long two months of rehearsals, the Pelham High School band was more than ready to perform their 6th annual winter concert on Monday, Dec. 21. At 7 p.m. students, parents, and community members gathered in the PHS gym to experience performances by the PHS Jazz Band, Concert Band, and new this year, poetry by students in English Honor Society.
After football season ends, both bands begin preparing their material for the winter concert. The 21 members of the jazz band meet after school once a week to prepare and practice their solos and group pieces. The concert band, meeting every day during school, prepares wind ensemble literature spanning from the last 100 years. Joseph Mundy, Pelham High’s music teacher and band director, explained how pleased he was with the students’ hard work, “It’s great getting to work every day with such talented and hard-working young musicians,” he stated.
Songs ranging from “White Christmas” to “Russian Sailor’s Dance” were played by the bands. Something new to the concert this year was poetry written by students, which was read in between the solo performances by jazz band members. “Thoughts In My Mind” by Kristyn Demers, “Mental Constellations” by Michael Cheney, “703” by Carolyn Doherty, and “Sticky Rice” by Vanessa Chen were the four poems presented prior to the concert’s intermission.
Mundy found “no notable issues” with the performances, and expressed his pleasure and the kids’ malleability by explaining, “I was very pleased with the concert. It is always tough to transition from our rehearsal space into the gym where we perform, but the students did a fantastic job with everything.”
The standing ovation proceeding the performances was enough to express the crowd’s warm feelings.