This article was originally published in the spring 2013 Harker Quarterly.
On Jan. 18, the upper school vocal group Bel Canto once again got together with some special guests in the Nichols Hall auditorium for this year’s WinterSong vocal concert. Led by Jennifer Sandusky, the group jumped right into the show with performances of Henry Purcell’s “Come Ye Sons of Art” and “Alleluia from Cantata No. 142” by Johann Kuhlau, with accompaniment from violinist Paul Woodruff, violist Toni Woodruff and Serena Wang, grade 10, on piano.
A series of stirring solo performances followed thereafter, including senior Justin Gerard’s rendition of the late 1920s classic “Ol’ Man River,” and a version of the beloved Leonard Cohen ballad “Hallelujah,” sung by Gwen Howard, grade 9. Freshman Elina Sendonaris’ interpretation of Debussy’s “Claire De Lune” provided the perfect segue for a special appearance by Cantilena, the upper school women’s chamber ensemble directed by Susan Nace, who beautifully performed Ko Matsushita’s choral piece, “Dona Nobis Pacem.”
Bel Canto then retook the stage for the final series of songs for the evening, which included Felix Bernard’s “Winter Wonderland of Snow,” the traditional English folk song “Barbara Allen” and the finale, a rousing rendition of the African-American spiritual “Battle of Jericho.”