Band, choir present Christmas Concert
MAESTRO PLEASE — NRHEG High School Band Director Tim Siewert directs his troupe as the NRHEG High School Choir, directed by Jennifer Fredrickson, stands at the ready during the combined Band/Choir Concert at the high school Monday, Dec. 16. (Star Eagle photo by Nikki Erickson)
By NIKKI ERICKSON
There was a hush in NRHEG High School gym last Monday night as the choir opened the 2013 Christmas Band and Choir Concert.
The sixty-eight members of the NRHEG Concert Choir began with the well-known song, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," arranged by Elizabeth Campbell. The addition of snazzy snaps and the cool, laid back feel of the men's foundation of "doom" in the baritone line was catchy.
Choir Director Jennifer Fredrickson welcomed the crowd to the concert and gave a resounding thank you to the many students who put their time and talent to provide the entertainment for the evening. Thanks was also given to Gratia Johnson for her beautiful accompaniment on the piano.
Their next song, “Still, Still, Still,” a traditional German Carol, was performed in honor of NRHEG exchange student Celia Ilisch. Celia provided a beautiful solo singing the first verse in her native German tongue, with the choir also singing verses two and three in German.
Next was the original work by Amy F. Bernon "Winter Wonders." The beautiful lyrics were brought out by the choir with melodic lines and visions of wintertime as a child, leaving the audience enchanted with the playful “Ah” at the close of the piece.
The well-known song, "Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow!" arranged by Joyce Eilers, highlighted two soloists, senior Jessica Katzung and sophomore Aaron Seath.
Jerry Estes' original work, "Solitary Snowflake," was performed next. This was one of the choir's favorite selections and gave a positive message, "Dreams are for the taking, wings come to those who fly. Miracles are for the making, winners are those who try... oh solitary snowflake." The ending of the song created a magical hush as the singers allowed that last snowflake to fall.
The concert choir ended their portion with a medley called, "Grinch! A Christmas Choral Medley." Their accompanist, Johnson, was rocking the keyboards as the choir sang their hearts out!
NRHEG's select choir ensemble, Panthera Vox Musica (latin for the musical voice of the panther) performed "Softly the Stars Were Shining," by Adolf Torovsky, to round out the choral selections of the night. Members of this exclusive choir group were Bailey Burg, Katelyn Christenson, Nora Retallick, Shanna Stencel, Alexis Wyatt and Kristy Possin.
Next, the NRHEG Concert Band opened with “Parade of the Wooden Soldier” with a piccolo solo by senior Kendra Grothem. The tune was inspired by childhood memories of toy soldiers marching in time, joyfully filling the air with visions of sugarplums and Santa bringing toys to all good boys and girls.
The second piece the band performed was, “O Come O Come Emmanuel,” arranged by Michael Brown. Playing through the crowd in a simple 5/4 meter gave a modern day feeling to this very traditional Christmas carol.
For their last song, the concert band played “Sleigh Ride” with the traditional holiday sounds of sleigh bells jingling and frivolity in the air. Who could resist the blocks imitating the clap of horse’s hooves as the sleigh was pulled through the snow covered countryside?
Band Director Tim Siewert, “Thought the band played very well, especially considering that we only had two weeks to put this concert together. With the the Indoor Marching Concert happening late in the year, it was a crazy rush to put everything together!” Siewert also noted, “All of the kids truly care about always performing at a high level and it makes me very proud.”
The evening closed with the Concert Band and Choir combining to sing “O Come All Ye Faithful.” Siewert summed up the evening with, “It's such a wonderful piece that the kids put a lot of passion into and it really gets everyone in the Christmas spirit!”
Both Siewert and Fredrickson thanked the community for their support and wished everyone a very merry Christmas and prosperous new year!