Music groups’ final bow


Talented orchestra: During the Master Singers/Orchestra Concert, South’s Symphony Orchestra plays on the auditorium stage. Photo by Veronika Gliwa

Kaitlyn Jiang and Kaia Otwell

Excited chatter flooded South’s auditorium as families and friends filled the seats to watch the Master Singers/Orchestra and Spring Choral concerts. South students in band, orchestra, and choir lit up the stage, performing songs and pieces ranging from classical Tchaikovsky pieces to groovy R&B. From the first stroke of a violin to the ending chorus of mixed voices, the concerts had their audiences enraptured until the final note.

The Master Singers/Orchestra Concert was on May 10, and the Spring Choral Concert was on May 12, Choir Director Robert Shellard explained. They allowed the groups to showcase their progress and what they had accomplished throughout the school year, he said. 

“The [Master Singers/Orchestra Concert was] a snapshot of where we’re at as musicians and as an ensemble,” Shellard said. “This [concert was] really special because it [was] the last [one] of the year.”

Master Singers, the highest level curricular choir at South, themed their portion of the concert around singers who write the songs they perform, including Billy Joel and Sara Bareilles, Shellard said. The orchestra focused on text-to-music interpretations and played pieces based on English and Hungarian folk songs, Aaron Kaplan, Orchestra Director at North and South, said.

The Master Singers/Orchestra Concert was the only concert where South students played together as an orchestra without students from North, Kaplan said. Additionally, since concerts are normally divided by choir, band, and orchestra, the collaboration of the groups was a unique aspect of the performance, Kaplan said. This collaboration allowed students from the different groups to hear their peers perform, Kaplan explained.

“I think it’s great when different ensembles get to hear each other,” Kaplan said. “[Because] orchestra [played] the first half, they [got] to sit in the audience for the second half and hear the Master Singers, which they don’t often get to do.”

The Spring Choral Concert featured many of South’s curricular choirs: Glee, Premier, and Bel Canto, Shellard said. The theme was “Music Through the Decades,” and each group was assigned a musical era from which they picked costumes and sang songs from, senior Amanda Ley, a Bel Canto member, explained. 

For seniors, these concerts marked the end of an era in the students’ careers as musicians at South, Ley said. It was both a happy and sad time for them, especially as many of the seniors had been involved throughout all four years of high school, Ley said.  

“I’m definitely super sad,” Ley said. “It’s tough, especially since [I’ve been] part of the community for four years now. It’s bittersweet for sure.”

Although Shellard was also sad after the concert, he said he is proud of the progress the seniors have achieved throughout their time at South, and is excited to see what their futures hold.

“I’m proud of [the seniors] for [their] growth as musicians, and I’m excited to see what they do [when] they leave South and how they [will] continue to change the world,” Shellard said.