Middle and upper school student musicians performed this year’s Winter Concert at San Jose’s Mexican Heritage Plaza Theater Jan. 15-16. Dave Hart directed the middle school groups, starting with the Grade 6 Jazz Band, which kicked things off with pieces by Miles Davis, Charlie Parker and Herbie Hancock. The Grade 6 Orchestra then took the stage, performing Soon Hee Newbold’s “Spirit of the American West,” the traditional folk song “Scarborough Fair” and “Russian Sailor’s Dance” by Reinhold Gliere.
The Grade 6 Orchestra’s cello section – made up of Rachel Broweleit, Nathan Wang, Rani Sheth, Jacqueline Yang and Jeffrey Yang, grade 8; and Andrew Chang and Elaine Xiao, grade 7 – performed a rendition of “Bachianas Brasileiras No. 1 Preludio Modinha” by Villa Lobos. Shortly afterward, teachers Teresa Orozco (flute), Pierre Dazin (violin), Natachia Li (cello) and Joshua Thurston-Milgrom (double bass) gave a special performance.
Next up, the Grade 7-8 Jazz Band played well-received versions of Jimmy Forrest’s “Night Train,” Horace Silver’s “Cape Verdean Blues,” “Fly Me to the Moon” by Bart Howard and more. They were followed by the Grade 7-8 Orchestra, which played the traditional “Amazing Grace,” “Variations on a Korean Folk Song” by John Barnes Chance and “Fandango and Alborada” by Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.
Upper school music teacher Chris Florio then took over as director, starting with the upper school’s Lab Band, which performed Ben Tucker’s “Comin’ Home Baby,” “Sky Dive” by Freddie Hubbard and others. The jazz continued with the stylings of The Harker School Jazz Band, which performed a set of songs by greats such as Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington and George Gershwin.
After an intermission, the evening’s headliner, The Harker School Orchestra, played the first of several pieces, Leonard Bernstein’s “Overture to Candide.” The group then impressively performed Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov’s “Capriccio Espagnol” in its entirety, followed by the rousing “Rodeo” by Aaron Copland. The orchestra then made way for flutist Victoria Ding, grade 12, who gave a solo performance of Cécile Chaminade’s “Concertino for Flute and Orchestra, Op. 7.”
The orchestra gave a fitting close to the evening with Camille Saint-Saëns’ stirring “Danse Bacchanale.”