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Annual Winter Choral Extravaganza

The WHRHS Chorus blew the audience away with their Winter Choral Concert

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The Boys' Vocal Ensemble singing “Briefcase Full of Blues”

The Boys' Vocal Ensemble singing “Briefcase Full of Blues”

Rachel Krouk

Rachel Krouk

The Boys' Vocal Ensemble singing “Briefcase Full of Blues”

Rachel Krouk, Staff Writer

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The WHRHS Chorus held their annual Winter Choral Concert on Friday, December 16th, helping to get the audience, as well as the singers, into the holiday spirit.

The concert began with a livestreamed broadcast from Gym ⅚, where Juan Carlos Cruz Night was being held, into the Performing Arts Center while the Choral Ensembles performed “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “The Lord Bless You and Keep You” in loving memory of Señor Cruz.

Members of the Advanced Chorus then flooded the aisles, talking obnoxiously on their cell phones, and singing a song reminding the audience to silence their cell phones during that night’s performance.

This was followed by the Mixed Chorus singing “Durme Durme,” “That’s What Friends are For” (with Anthony Speros on the harmonica, Andrew Morrison on the soprano saxophone, and Benjamin Kosakowski playing the guitar), and the ever-so-famous “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch” (Benjamin Kosakowski playing the baritone saxophone, Anthony Speros playing the guitar, and Matt Renzo on percussion). The Mixed Chorus wrapped up their portion of the concert with the Coldplay classic, “Fix You.”

When chorus member Sarah Young (freshman) was asked about the best part of the chorus program, she expressed that “the general […] happy upbeat mood in the class” was her favorite part, as well as how “fun [it was] to sing in such a big group.”

After the Mixed Chorus, Senior Soloist Mariella Zijdel wowed the audience with her performance of “La Vie en Rose” from the famous television show How I Met Your Mother. Her amazing vocals paired with her impressive ukulele skills were a recipe for success.

Next was the Advanced Chorus’s rendition of “Zadok the Priest” (Trumpets played by Ryan Branco and Carl Peterson) and “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” from The Nutcracker Suite.” The piece featured dancers Brianna Casas (freshman), Emma Kotar (freshman), Abigail Kotar (freshman), Noelle Kulisz (freshman), Michelle Shui (senior), Kostandena Vayas (senior), Kathryn Berger (junior), and Hollace Chase (freshman) from the Dance Ensemble, who performed a dance choreographed by Annanda Carmody. The Chorus then proceeded with The Beatles’ “Let it Be” and the holiday favorite, “Baby It’s Cold Outside.” The Advanced Chorus ended their portion of the concert with the help of Watchung Hills alumni, singing “Auld Lang Syne.”

Senior Soloist Katie Nepal was next to blow the audience away with her performance of Billy Joel’s “Goodnight My Angel.”

The Vocal Ensembles were the next group to take the stage, beginning with the girls singing “Tomorrow Shall Be My Dancing Day,” “Glow,” and Pentatonix’s “That’s Christmas to Me.” The Boys’ and Girls’ Ensembles then joined together for a medley of Fun’s greatest hits. Next, the boys took the stage for their renditions of “Eatnemen Vuelie (Song of the Earth)” and “Frozen Heart” from Disney’s Frozen (percussion for both by Craig Mandelbaum and Emilie Ricciardi). They closed the Ensembles portion of the concert with a tribute to the Blues Brothers, performing “Briefcase Full of Blues,” which had audience members dancing in their seats.

Choral Director Mrs. Bird stated that she was most excited about “showcasing what [they’ve] been working on for four months, and sharing it with the world.” The Choral Ensembles did just that.

Next up was the final Senior Soloist, Allison Horvath, singing “Wind Beneath My Wings,” a beautiful performance which captivated the audience.

To cap off the show, everyone came on stage together as the Combined Chorus to sing Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” (with Anthony Speros on the guitar) and “Disney Movie Magic,” a medley of everyone’s favorite Disney songs.

Throughout the performances, the family-like relationship between the chorus members was very apparent. Freshman chorus member Giovanna DiSanto expressed that her favorite part of the choral program was “how supportive and nice everyone is, even if you just meet them.”

Congratulations to the Watchung Hills Chorus for their wonderful performance!

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Annual Winter Choral Extravaganza