Hopkins Musicians Make Melodies in May
During the past few months, students in both the orchestra and concert choir were busy preparing for the annual Spring Music Concert.
Held at Church of the Redeemer, the music consisted of joint ventures by the Hopkins Concert Choir and Orchestra, as well as performances by student soloists. Robert Smith, conductor of the orchestra, said, “We featured pieces that both classes have been rehearsing since January.” Caroline Rocco ’20, who sings soprano in choir, said, “I was definitely pumped for people to finally get to listen; these songs were so unique and different.” Drew Williams ’21, an alto in the choir added, “I really love singing a with the choir, I think we sound great together and I was psyched for people to hear us.”
On Tuesday, May 1, the Jazz Rock and Band Ensemble concert offered another chance to hear Hopkins’ music groups. Chris Devona, conductor of both music ensembles said, “Our concert featured four groups: Concert Band, seventh Grade, eighth Grade, and Jazz/Rock. This was the final concert of the year, and it will feature music that we’ve been preparing since January.” Alex Weisman ’20, a trumpet player in Jazz Rock Band said, “Jazz band has been a lot of fun this year. We have been preparing for the concert and we’re playing a lot of great songs. Everybody in the jazz band has worked really hard and the concert was a lot of fun!”
The choir repertoire included more contemporary pieces than in previous concerts. Erika Schroth, Concert Choir Director, said, “I was really looking forward to this concert. Most of the pieces the choir was singing have been published in the last ten to fifteen years.” Arrangements of “Waiting on the World to Change” by John Mayer and “Run to You” by Pentatonix, and a Bollywood song called “Balleilakka” are just a few of the pieces that were showcased by concert choir.
Several songs were performed in Spanish Schroth said, “The Spanish songs are in anticipation of our upcoming tour to Portugal and Spain. One (song) is a setting of a Lorca poem and is so evocative and expressive.” Katie Broun ’19, said, “especially since we are going on this summer tour, we have been working a lot on finding our sound as a group. I’ve been singing with these people so long, and it’s really starting to feel like one cohesive unit rather than a bunch of people singing songs together.”
The Orchestra also offered a program filled with incredible music. Katherine Takoudes ’20, a violinist in the orchestra, said, “I enjoy performing in concerts because as an orchestra, we get to show off the beautiful music that we have been practicing all year. Plus, the concert represents all the hard work that has gone into the year.” Alexander Zhang ’19, also a violinist and concertmaster, added, “I get most excited about simply getting on stage and telling the audience through our music, Watch. Listen. This is what we’ve worked so hard on together. This is what we can do.”
The repertoire for the orchestra included “Creatures of Prometheus Overture” by Beethoven, “Wasps Overture” by Vaughan Williams, “Danse Macabre” by Saint-Saens, a concerto grosso for strings by Corelli, and a combined piece with Concert Choir called “Carmina Burana” by Carl Orff. Jackson Weisman ’20, a clarinet player, said, “I was especially looking forward to Wasps Overture. It is the one song that we have been practicing all year, and it was be cool to finally get to perform it.” Takoudes ’20 said, “my favorite piece has to be ‘Carmina Burana.’ The piece is energetic, powerful, and stunning, and conveys the vivacity of the ensemble to the audience.”
There were more soloists performing this year than in past years’ concerts. To showcase more individual talent, Alex Zhang ’19, Teddy Glover ’21, Caroline Blake ’21, and Kyle Shin ’20 all performed solos. Zhang ’19 said, “This concert featured a lot of solos from the strings section -- more than we’ve ever had in a single concert!” Concert Choir also had a large number of soloists performing. Schroth enthused, “We are featuring quite a few soloists on the program, and we had a super exciting big finish planned - three movements of Carmina Burana with the Hopkins Orchestra. It’s the rock and roll of choral-orchestral music!”
Zhang ’19 said, “This was a fantastic program performed by two incredible groups of fantastic musicians, who are all passionate about what we do. The concert is where we prove ourselves. We were ready for it.”