The 2013 lower school Winter Concert on Dec. 5 brought warmth and a bit of holiday cheer to the audience and showcased the diverse talents of Harker’s lower school musicians. Lower school musical groups, including the orchestra and jazz ensemble, were featured, with special solo performances and appearances by groups from the middle and upper schools.
The lower school orchestra, conducted by Louis Hoffman, kicked things off with “King William’s March” by Jeremiah Clarke. Next up was the lower school string ensemble performing Brian Balmages’ “A Beethoven Lullaby,” the first of two pieces it played that evening. The string ensemble then made way for the lower school’s jazz combo, also conducted by Hoffman, which played the somewhat odd but nevertheless well-liked “Summertime” by George Gershwin.
Though not a holiday-themed concert, a smattering of seasonal songs were included. “A Festive Holiday” was performed by the string ensemble and arranged by David Shaffer and Toni Woodruff, who led the ensemble. Bob Cerulli’s “A Christmas Sing Along: Traditional,” performed by the lower school orchestra, continued along the winter theme.
A number of individual students had the chance to shine at various points throughout the concert. Kailash Ranganathan, grade 4, performed a sitar duet with renowned sitarist Pandit Habib Khan. Astor Piazzolla’s “Libertango” was performed by cellist Angeline Kiang, grade 4, who was accompanied by pianist Chen Woo. Later, the lower school orchestra performed grade 5 student Paul Kratter’s original piece, “The Title.”
About midway through the concert, the grade 6 strings group, directed by Dave Hart, arrived to perform the “Spring” portion of Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” as well as a string arrangement of Coldplay’s “Clocks.” The upper school string quartet, directed by Chris Florio, also showed up later in the evening, performing the first movement of Mendelssohn’s “String Quartet No. 2 in A Minor” and the Guns N’ Roses hit “Sweet Child O’ Mine.”
Following two more songs by the jazz combo and jazz ensemble, the lower school orchestra ended the concert with the “Hallelujah” chorus from Handel’s “Messiah.”