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Winter Fine Arts Concert: an Inside Look

Monica Harrison and Angie Martinez

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To finish out the first semester, Orchestra, Choir, and Band joined together to put on the Winter Fine Arts Concert held in the gym in December.

Before the concert, Orchestra members competed in the All Region auditions in October. Out of more than 900 students that auditioned for All Region in October, five Kimmons musicians were selected to perform: Karalyne Stone, Alex Manylath, Angel Duron, Ashley Amaya, and Akil Thompson.

At the Winter concert, both Intermediate and Advanced orchestras performed together as one big orchestra.

“They played ‘The Christmas March, a fun arrangement of the ‘Joy to the World’ melody by George Frideric Handel, and a really cool piece called ‘Fiddlin’ Christmas,’ which is exactly what is sounds like: Christmas carols with a little fiddle added in,” Mr. Verge said.

The orchestra students’ favorite songs varied.

“The song I enjoyed was probably ‘A Fiddlin’ Christmas because it gave me a lot of memories of happiness, but mostly, this song is graceful to me,” Kimberly Nolin, 8th, said.

Alexis Guerra, 7th, had a different opinion.

“I would have to say ‘Ode To Joy” because it is a song that everyone can play, and it has all the types of notes and fourth finger A and that’s it,” Alexis said.

The most difficult part of preparing for the concert was finding the time to rehearse the two orchestras together and get them used to playing in one giant orchestra. This was especially challenging since they had to rehearse in two separate class periods.

“They never played together except for on this concert,” Mr. Verge said. “It was a challenge getting the students used to an orchestra that’s twice the size of what they were used to.”

Throughout the pieces of music they played, there were difficult parts. The students practiced to overcome the challenges.

“The biggest challenge was staying with everyone else because some kids go slow and others go fast,” Alexis said.

Kimberly’s biggest challenge was trying to stay calm.

“Since it was 8th and 9th grade, it was a huge group and also a huge audience,” Kimberly said.

Mr. Verge feels that his musicians really enjoy working on music that challenges them.

“It gives them a sense of pride and ownership when they really master a certain part in a difficult piece of music,” Mr. Verge said.

Before the Winter Fine Arts Concert, Choir traveled in October all the way to Dover, AR, where 39 singers competed at the Region 4 All-Region Auditions. Kimmons placed four students in the Region 4 Choir: Kyleigh Cason, Aisha Williams, Kevin Willis, and Amie Trinidad.

“I felt really confident about my music and auditioning because I had tried out the year before and knew what to expect,” Kyleigh, 9th, said. ‘I was very happy when I found out I had gotten 26th chair.”

At the Winter concert, the choirs sang traditional songs like “Let it Snow!” and changed things up by performing part of “Silent Night” in German, along with American Sign Language.

“Advanced Men loved the piece ‘Three French Carols’ because they enjoy saying new words in French,” Ms. Falcon said. “Select Women loved ‘A La Nanita Nana’ because of the emotion it brought out in them. They learned a lot about how and why songs like this one were written.”

The students all had different favorite and least favorite songs. The reasons varied from what language it was in to the melody it had.

“I enjoyed ‘Stille Nacht’ the most because it was in German, and I was in a small group singing a solo,” Kyleigh said.

Kevin Willis, 9th, preferred “Three french Carols.”

“You really get to hear the different sections, and it has a good melody,” Kevin said.

The Choirs faced some challenges when preparing for the concert.

“The hardest part was all the memorization,” Ms. Falcon said. “All of these songs had to be sung from memory, so we really worked on those words!”

All of the choir students faced challenges and difficulties rehearsing the songs, but they pushed through and kept practicing to get better.

“The biggest challenge for me during the performance was singing out because there were only four people in my section; however, I think it went well,” Kevin said.

Kyleigh had an almost opposite experience.

“My biggest challenge was learning five songs, plus learning Spanish, German, and sign language,” Kyleigh said.

Ms. Falcon was proud of how hard the choirs worked to perform their songs.

“That focus allowed them to reach a little farther in their progress!” Ms. Falcon said.

Before the Winter Fine Arts Concert, Band earned the highest rating — 1st Division Superior rating — at the ASBOA Region VIII Marching Assessment. Also, fifteen musicians made the All-Region Jazz Band, and 59 made All Region Concert Band with seven alternates.

At the Winter concert, the 9th grade Concert Band enjoyed playing “African Bell Carol.”

“I really liked it is a very fun piece to play, and it’s easy,” Karina Valentin, 9th, said.

Sophia Praphan, 9th, enjoyed performing “Do You Hear What I Hear?”

“I loved how the instruments echoed each other,” Sophia said.

Nathan Fuhrman, 9th, liked “A Christmas Canon.”

“It is a combination of ‘The First Noel’ and Pachelbel’s Canon in D,” Nathan said.

Coordinating details proved difficult.

“The most challenging part was the logistics of having all three performing groups, with groups that share kids, different sets of chairs, and keeping the event going smoothly and efficiently,” Mr. Ha said.

Liberty Vasquez, 9th, battled an uneasy feeling during the performance.

“My biggest challenge was keeping my nerves under control, so I could play my best, especially for the Low Reed Ensemble,” Liberty said.

Jayden Dilworth, 9th, claimed there was no challenge.

“I’m Jayden, and Jayden doesn’t get challenges,” Jayden said. “It’s all 2nd nature.”

Mr. Ha was proud of how well the 9th grade band played the music.

“The current 9th grade class was my first set of beginners that I started, and to see them play so well made my heart very happy,” Mr. Ha said. “It was a nice reminder of why I teach music.”

Mr. Coats was proud of being able to see and hear all three music organizations showcase their students and their musical talents.

“We have strong music programs here at Kimmons, and there are many talented students involved,” Mr. Coats said.

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