The Harker Orchestra, the upper school’s largest musical ensemble, returned from London earlier this month, after having performed during that city’s New Year celebration. They performed at the famous Cadogan Hall, and received a very enthusiastic response. “We had amazing energy that night as that was our first performance of the year, and to do so in Cadogan Hall was amazing,” said Chris Florio, director of the orchestra. “The audience’s spontaneous reaction was one of the highlights of my musical life because it was so genuine. They had to stand up right away. I’ve never experienced that as a conductor.”
The students also had the opportunity to march in the London New Year’s Day parade, carrying the flags of the countries participating in this year’s summer Olympic games, which will take place in London. “Since we are not a marching band, this was an option for us, so I graciously accepted,” Florio said.
Students weren’t the only ones who considered the performances a highlight. Many Harker parents were also in attendance, and were ecstatic at how well the concerts went. “Almost immediately after the performances, parents started emailing each other, expressing how moved, proud and stunned they were at how well we performed,” said Florio. “Many audience members were brought to tears when our program was finished.”
The orchestra’s performances can now be viewed online through Cadogan Hall’s website. Their Dec. 29 performance begins at approximately one hour and three minutes into the video. The Dec. 31 performance begins at the 57-minute mark.