Each of the Lower School grades performed songs and stories or poems for parents, faculty and staff at their Winter Concerts.
The Happy Horns, consisting of Adam Gall '21, Danny Gall '21, Jack Gelder '21, and Jamie Resurreccion '21, welcomed guests to the Lower School Winter Concerts as they made their way through the halls to the Gym on December 14. Decked in festive hats, the boys played holiday songs on their French horns to set the tone for a merry morning of music.
The first of the grades to perform was the Second Grade, with a concert centered on the theme of peace. The boys were excited to share compositions of their own with readings scattered throughout. Their song “Peace, Peace, Peace” was first sung in English, followed several other languages. Audience members were asked to share how they say “peace” in their language, which the boys incorporated into their song. There was: Pas in Spanish, Shanti in Hindi, Mier in Russian, Shalom in Hebrew, Aroosh in Turkish, Frieden in German, Paix in French, Heiwa in Japanese, Vrede in Dutch, and Hépíng in Chinese. The second graders closed with the School Song and Headmaster David Trower thanked Lower School Music Teacher Ian Taggart and all the boys for such a lovely concert during this season of hopes and dreams.
The Third Grade was up next, with a concert that highlighted work the boys had undertaken in their music classes, in particular around Robert Frost's "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening." Changeovers between songs had the boys playing drums, bells, and xylophones. A holiday favorite, “Jingle Bells,” ended with a rousing “Hey!” and “Feliz Navidad” was brought to life with maracas, cabasas, triangles and tambourines. The third graders also finished their concert by singing the School Song. Mr. Trower expressed his appreciation for the boys’ energy, precision and dedication. Using the analogy of snow he said that each boy brought his own uniqueness to the performance and together they created something beautiful.
On December 19, the First Grade boys performed their version of The Snowy Day, by Ezra Jack Keats. The boys adopted different roles, which included the choir, sound effects, actors (9 Peters, the main character in the book) and the ensemble, while Mr. Taggart read the words to the story. The boys helped decided where to incorporate songs, how to act and which sound effects were needed. They used the pentatonic scale to assign pitches to text to create thematic music. Songs were interspersed throughout the story. At the end of the show, Mr. Trower asked Mr. Taggart to take a bow and thanked him and the boys for creating something so wonderfully new and different.
The Kindergarten performance brought the Winter Concerts to a close with a tremendous amount of enthusiasm. Mr. Taggart introduced the book The Bear Snores, by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman, and explained the different ways each character would be represented in the performance. Drums for the bear, cowbells for the hare, egg shakers for the mouse and softer drums for the wind. As Mr. Taggart narrated, KGT, KHP and KBM took turns in each section either singing, moving or on percussion. The boys received a huge applause from parents and guests. Mr. Trower praised the boys for their creativity and discipline and for behaving well in so many ways. He went on to say that the power of great art is to transform a moment and he said he thought all the guests forgot everything they came in thinking about and fully enjoyed the concert. Lower School Head Stephen Warner brought the event to a close by thanking Mr. Taggart for his positivity and creativity.
Thank you to the piano accompanist Pavel Bogomiakov and a huge thank you again to Mr. Taggart for putting together four very special concerts!