Fine Arts Christmas Concert

Elizabeth Gonzalez, Reporter

The rich, dark melody of the Band filled the gym during Kimmons’ first-ever Fine Arts Christmas Concert. As the last notes died down, the room exploded with clapping and cheering from the audience praising the student musicians. Beforehand, the Choir and Orchestra members had taken turns entertaining the crowd with winter holiday pieces they had practiced for months.

Each Raider had his/her favorite moment.

“I liked being able to hear each group because it’s nice to know how hard they worked,” Taylor Gilyard, who plays flute, said.

Other students enjoyed the large audience in the gym.

“I would have to say that my favorite part of it was all the people there because the spotlight was on all of us when we performed,” Greg Washington, Advanced Boys Choir member, said.

For others, the spotlight actually made them nervous.

“The most challenging part about performing was when I had my violin solo because no one else played but me,” Oved Lopez, Intermediate Orchestra member, said.

The fine-art students ran into some challenges as they prepared for the Christmas concert.

“The most challenging part of preparing for the concert was making sure I knew all the music well for both groups that I’m in and performing it perfectly,” Michelle Atkins, 9th, said. Michelle is a member of the Select Girls’ Choir and Advanced Orchestra.

Band had to begin practice immediately after their marching contest in October 2015, which left them only five weeks to be ready.

“Practice sessions were intense!” Mr. Meyers, Band director, said. “I am most proud of my musicians’ willingness to put forth their best efforts and rise to the occasion.”

Orchestra also faced intense rehearsals starting with tuning instruments and warming up with scales to transition students into the music.

“After we warmed up, I usually had a goal that I wanted to accomplish,” Mr. Hansen, Orchestra director, said. “The goals ranged from making sure a few smaller sections were where they should be, all the way to running the entire piece of music to see how well the students could play it.”

Mr. Hansen struggled to select one overall reason for being proud of his students.

“My Advanced Orchestra students stepped up and made sure that they knew their parts so that their sound could stand out and help lead the intermediate students,” Mr. Hansen said. “I’m also very proud of my Intermediate Orchestra students because one of the pieces, ‘Trepak,’ isn’t meant for 2nd-year students. It’s meant for 3+-year students, and they too stepped up and are now better musicians.”

Due to the limited time that Choir students had to rehearse, each practice was very important. The singers stood for an hour at a time to start and stop each piece of music many times to fix mistakes.

“I am most proud of how hard the students worked to prepare the music,” Mr. Morris, choir teacher, said. “They did a joint piece, ‘That’s Christmas to Me,’ with all 8th and 9th grade Choir members and only had one rehearsal all together. The audience seemed to really enjoy the music and responded with excitement. Very rarely do junior high choirs get to sing in a 130-person mass choir.”

The students’ hard work was reflected on the audience’s response to the concert.

“The audience was very generous and enthusiastic to the music for all of the groups,” Mr. Hansen said. “I was proud to see ‘standing room only’ because it means so many parents, family members, and teachers support the hard work that these students to every day.”

Previously, December involved three different concerts, but the new combined effort brings a chance to forge a new tradition at Kimmons.

“This gives us a chance to showcase all of our talented young musicians at one event,” Mr. Meyers said. “It also gives the groups a chance to hear the other groups perform and see the success of the Fine Arts program as a whole.”