A Season of Music with MICDS Musicians

Middle and Upper School Bands Perform Winter Concert

In December, the Middle and Upper School bands performed their annual Winter Concert, led by Band Director Becky Long and Assistant Band Director Josh Baumgartner. The concert represented the culmination of all the work and practice the students had put in during their first trimester.

“Mr. Baumgartner and I are so proud of the students’ progress this year,” said Becky Long. “We were thrilled to watch our Middle and Upper School students build community between the concerts.”

The concerts drew a large showing, nearly filling up Orthwein Theatre. Parents had nothing but rave reviews for the performance.

“The bands sounded terrific, and Orthwein was noticeably full of satisfied and engaged concert-goers,” said Lisa Gil Diaz, a self-proclaimed “band geek” parent. “Parents raved about Becky Long’s brilliance as a teacher, her terrific organizational skills and her kind and nurturing heart. We’re all excited about where the program is headed with Becky at the helm.”

Middle School Choir Journeys through Musical History

The annual Middle School Concert, “A Dance with Mozart – A Myriad of Multicultural Masterworks,” explored music from the 1500s through the mid-1700s as well as popular music from the Renaissance, Baroque, Classical and Modern Classical periods. The majority of the songs were sung in a foreign language, and audience members were taken by melody to Spain, France, Romania, Germany, Scotland and more.

This year’s Middle School vocal music theme was “Mozart to the Movies,” which gave students the opportunity to stretch their voices. As Middle School Choir Teacher Jason Roberts describes, “I told the kids this is like the yoga of singing. If we can achieve this style, we can do ANY style.” Mr. Roberts went on to share that the voices of the Middle School singers have grown a lot in a short time.

Beasley Lower School Winter Program Celebrates Holiday Traditions

The annual Beasley Lower School Winter Program drew its usual standing-room-only crowd of parents, grandparents, siblings and friends in Mary Eliot Chapel. Junior Kindergartners through 4th graders performed songs honoring a variety of holidays and the winter season, with direction from Lower School Music Teachers Barb Spieler and Kathy Norvell. Students ended the program with a crowd favorite, Peace the Whole World Over. Each verse of the song used the word “peace” in a language spoken by one of our MICDS families. This year, it was sung in English, Chinese, German, Japanese, Vietnamese, Hebrew and more!

“The Beasley Winter Program celebrates holiday traditions and includes pieces for Diwali, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, the Vietnamese Moon Festival and an Arabic song of peace. I am so proud of the hard work and passion our young musicians put into their singing, dancing and playing,” said Ms. Spieler.

Bravo to all performers of these wonderful MICDS musical traditions.

Upper School Choirs Perform at 10th Annual Winter Masterworks Concert

The Upper School Choirs also presented their 10th annual Winter Masterworks Concert in the Orthwein Theatre, led by Dana Self, Director of Choirs, in December.

In celebration of the 10th-anniversary concert, the choirs shared “the best of the best” from the major works performed over the last decade. The 2018 concert featured selections from Mozart’s Requiem, Benjamin Britten’s Ceremony of Carols, Franz Schubert’s Mass in G, John Leavitt’s Missa Festiva, Handel’s Messiah and Mozart’s Coronation Mass in C.

The choirs also performed several lighthearted holiday favorites such as Jingle Bells, Sleigh Ride and Deck the Halls. The choirs were accompanied by a professional orchestra along with members of the MICDS Strings Ensemble and the Upper School Band.

Near the end of the concert, Dana Self presented a framed plaque of the concert program cover signed by all members of the choir to Head of School Lisa Lyle.

“I want to thank Lisa for her unwavering support of the vocal music program here at MICDS and for sharing her vision of this concert series,” said Mr. Self. “It’s not only challenged these kids, but it has challenged me and stretched me to grow as a teacher and a director.”