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Choruses, bands earn high praise at spring concert

The spring concert featured added treats May 8 to entertain attendees, including a clarinet solo, jazz duet, elite ensemble and members of the high school chorus playing the ukulele while singing.

Spring ConcertKaylee Kelsey teaches the ukulele as part of her general music class and decided to give it a try with her high school chorus. Kelsey joined the high school chorus in playing the ukulele and singing Vance Joy’s “Riptide.”

“I think they enjoyed me playing the ukulele and singing along with them; it makes it more of a musical experience,” said Kelsey.

Kelsey’s middle school chorus performed three songs before Lyla Kern and Alyssa Macagnone sang American Authors’ “Best Day of My Life” in an elite ensemble.

“It was fun doing it. I liked being able to sing,” said Macagnone.

Kelsey praised her middle school and high school choruses.

“It was a really great performance,” said Kelsey. “I was Spring Concertreally impressed. I’m very happy with the quality of their hard work and it shows.”

Before the high school band began its performance to close out the show, band teacher Eric Wiener recognized the band’s only senior, Riley Thirlwall, a three-time regional all-state musician and the class valedictorian. The two performed a jazz duet to Duke Ellington’s “Take the A Train” with Thirlwall on the clarinet and Wiener on the bass clarinet.

“Riley had mentioned earlier in the year she was interested in doing some jazz,” said Wiener. “We chose to work on some jazz in her independent study sessions. We went through a whole bunch of different duets. This is the first duet we played in the whole string of duets and she liked this one the best.”

Thirlwall later did a clarinet solo during the high school band’s performance of Bart Howard’s “Fly Me to the Moon,” one of four songs done by the high school band.

“I’m really proud of them,” Wiener said of the high school band.

The middle school band opened the night by playing Larry Clark’s “Magma” and Mark Williams’ Mucho Mariachi.”

“I think they were amazing,” said Wiener. “They’re worried it’s going to sound horrible. They don’t feel they’re up to the challenge of doing such difficult music, but we’ve gone over and over that it’s more about the process and they’ve been working hard on this., They’ve come so far from where they started. They’re becoming more and more resilient and they’re learning how to develop skills on their own and to push forward.”

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