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A Musical December Celebrating Christmas

December 2021 at Ursuline was certainly a musical month.  Performing Arts students breathed a sigh of relief that Christmas Concert week was untouched by the wrath of COVID-19 and its sinister relative, Omicron.  Corona Virus and all her variant relatives could not prevent an evening of masked, yet musical, joy from happening.

The evening of December 14, 2021 began with the Tri-M Music Honor Society Induction.  Seventeen new members were added to the ranks of the nation’s only Music Honor Society.  They proudly joined 44 current members and were inducted by Co-Presidents Santina Madden ’22 and Amanda Kirkpatrick ’22. The Vice President is Ella Mingione ’22 and their secretary is the eloquent Carli Wallace ’24. 

Music merriment swiftly followed. The Honors Choir - led by Ms. Wendy Bryn Harmer - opened the evening with a powerful Masters in this Hall followed by a magical rendition of Silent Night by Pink Zebra. The Junior and Honors Choirs inspired us with Breath of Heaven by Amy Grant.

Honors and Junior Choirs

 

The youngest musicians of the evening - the Middle School Choir led by Mrs. Rosemary Clarizio - charmed all as they always do with various choral styles and languages. Their first piece, Carol of the Elves, featured Ariana Banks ’27 on the jingle bells, while the slapstick and woodblocks were gleefully played by sisters Chole Stella ’28 and Olivia ’26. African Gloria in Latin followed with students performing on shekeres and two congas. El Rorro, a Mexican Carol about the Baby King was wistfully sung in Spanish and English. 

The Hawaiian Carol Mele Kalikimaka featured leis and dance co-presidents Elizabeth Riccio ’22 and Claire Caltabiano ’23.  Mrs. Jennè Griffith choreographed a delightful hula dance performed by the dancers and the Middle School Choir. 

Middle School Choir

 

The Advanced Orchestra - led by Ms. Kelly Gentry - exploded onto the scene with Lola Milazzo ’22 and Cameron Caie ’25 on snare and bass drums with Parade of the Wooden Soldiers. The audience could not help tapping toes to Thunder and Lightning Polka by Johann Strauss.  Handel’s Messiah closed the evening with the beloved and regal Hallelujah Chorus. All ensembles performed to an enthusiastic, participating audience.

Advanced Orchestra

 

On December 16, in the Frank J. Auriana Theater, students of Ms. Kelly Gentry had an opportunity to showcase their work in the second quarter recital series.  With only a month to prepare, the 7th grade Strings class showed aplomb at their first recital. They played Folk Dance, Jingle Bells, and Strings on the Housetop.

Ms. Gentry prepared the High School Winds and Strings classes to beautifully perform select Christmas favorites. Carols featured were French Noel, In the Bleak Midwinter and Have Yourself a Merry Little ChristmasCarol of the Bells concluded the evening by both high school ensembles.

Quarter 2 recital in Dec 2021

 

In addition to these formal concerts, during the week members of the orchestra filled the Christina Jun Murphy '22 Student Commons with holiday sounds as students arrived at school.

Playing carols for students

 

The Performing Arts students and faculty wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a happy, healthy New Year!

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Officers induct members into Tri M honor society
Honors Choir
Choir with Ms. Harmer
Hawaiian carol
Brass players at the concert
Strings players
All groups for the finale