Orchestra concert lights up the holiday season


Anne Weishaar

Ellery Prusko (’20) conducts her fellow Chamber Orchestra members through her composition, Winter Seascape, as her senior send-off. Prusko initially only wrote a violin part. The lower voices were later added with the help of Niyati Hansaria (’21). Anvith Aravati (’22) accompanied the orchestra on piano with a part that he composed.

Winter is in the air, and the holidays are just around the corner, but first comes the joyous music that starts off the season. On December 10th, the BCHS Chamber and Symphony Orchestras performed at the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for their annual Holiday Lights Concert. Some songs that were played by the Orchestras include holiday favorites such as The Christmas Song, The March of the Nutcracker, and Vivaldi’s Winter, along with lesser-known songs such as Water Reflections and Mozart’s Sleigh Ride.

With unfamiliar songs, comes unfamiliar melodies that require considerable amounts of preparation to get them concert ready. Each person practices their songs in a unique way. One such individual is the Chamber Orchestra’s president, Alina Grimaldo (’21). “I wouldn’t say there’s one technique that’s the best because they’re all important. However, a strong sense of subdivision and just being able to think of various things at once (bow hold, intonation, rhythm, dynamics, etc),” she said. Other Orchestra members seemed to be in agreement with Grimaldo’s statement; and she wasn’t the only one. There were similar things mentioned among the other Orchestra members who seem to all agree that the best technique to use while practicing involves a light and relaxed bow hand and fingers.

A piece that the Chamber orchestra played was a song composed by senior, Ellery Prusko, called Winter Seascape. Composing an original piece of music is no easy task, but Prusko handled it masterfully. She stated beforehand, “It is an amazing opportunity that I’m very fortunate to have. At first, I was a bit nervous to see how Chamber reacted to it as they listened to a recording. But now, I can’t wait to hear it all come together. It is going to be an unreal experience conducting the piece as my fellow classmates play it,” and indeed it was. Prusko’s piece was filled with catchy rhythms and beautiful melodies from beginning to end.

All members of the Orchestras were ecstatic over the concert in various ways. Some were excited to perform their favorite songs, including symphony president, Madilyn Winter (‘23) who expressed that her’s was, “Carol of the Bells because it’s intense, but there are also softer parts, and I really like the drastic changes. I have a feeling it will be a crowd favorite as well.” Other members were simply looking forward to the people that were coming to watch them play their merry music.

As the night came to a close, there was one thing for certain: everyone in the orchestra played an important role in making this concert one to be remembered. On behalf of the entire orchestra, Happy Holidays!