Thursday, October 14—During today’s all-school assembly, the Performing Arts Department presented Winsor's annual fall concert featuring Lower School and Upper School musicians and singers. The musical performances, which took place in the David E. and Stacey L. Goel Theatre, were an inspiring showcase of musical talent and collaboration.
Performing Arts Department Head Felicia Brady-Lopez introduced the concert and educated audience members on instruments, sounds, and theatre etiquette. She explained that instruments do not have microphones because they are naturally built to project sound. “When the instruments are played quietly or when there is a dramatic pause that sounds like an end, that’s not a mistake, it’s the composer’s intentional instrumentation.”
Sharing a personal experience—being the only person clapping in an otherwise quiet auditorium—Ms. Brady-Lopez told audience members to look for a special signal. “Wait until the conductor turns around and acknowledges the audience to clap.”
The Lower School Orchestra (Classes I-IV) played “The Spirit of Adventure” from the movie Up!, written by Michael Giacchino, and arranged by Performing Arts Faculty Julia Connor, who directs the group. The students, Sarah Finkelstein ’28 (flute) and Gisèle Francois-DeVane ’29 (bass/violin) shared, “one thing we like about this piece is that it’s very energetic.”
Next, the Upper School Chamber Players (Classes V, VI, and VIII), performed a quintet by Luigi Boccherini, also arranged by Ms. Connor. In advance of the performance, students performers Karina Peak ’22 (violin) and Paige Whalen ’24 (viola) shared a list of things to look out for including various solos and “when the string players play their instruments like guitars.”
In between each performance, Class III Stagecraft and Class IV Tech Theater transformed the stage, moving chairs and music stands to make way for risers and even a baby grand piano—all under the guidance of Performing Arts Faculty Andres Puigbo, who teaches the courses.
Accompanied by Performing Arts Faculty Andrew Marshall on piano, Lower School Chorus (Classes I-IV) sang "I'll Do Anything for You, Dear" from Oliver! by Lionel Bart and John Dyer Baizley. Students dressed in coordinating white tops and the audience gasped in delight when the students broke into two groups and turned toward each other, leaning forward and back on the risers as if in a tug of war, emphasizing the call and response portion of the song.
When Illumina (Classes VI, VII, and VIII) took the stage in coordinating black dresses, the audience erupted in applause. Illumina sang two pieces. First, "Lift Every Voice" by J. Rosamon Johnson and James Weldon Johnson, arranged by Mr. Marshall, and accompanied by Ms. Brady-Lopez on piano. Winsor families may know “Lift Every Voice” as a school song and recall hearing it at events such as Commencement. Illumina finished their performance with a Disney ballad medley arranged by Mr. Marshall, which included songs from Alladdin, The Little Mermaid, and Mulan by Alan Mankin and Matthew Wilder.
To end the fall concert, Senior Small sang "Just the Way You Are/Just a Dream" from the movie Pitch Perfect, and then held hands to take a bow.
A special thank you to Ms. Brady-Lopez, Ms. Connor, Mr. Marshall, Mr. Puigbo, and the entire Performing Arts Department.