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Holiday Harmonies

By Rachel Jacob and Julia Kim

Wintertime signifies the arrival of New Hyde Park Memorial’s holiday concerts. Students, families and friends come together in the auditorium to listen to the seasonal collection of songs performed by NHP Memorial’s very own musical groups.

Two separate winter concerts took place on December 14 and 19. The first concert featured the Junior High Choir, Junior High Band, Chamber Singers, Senior High Band and Senior High Choir. On December 19, the Junior High Orchestra, Junior High Choir, Senior High Orchestras and jazz band performed.

To start off the first concert, the Senior High Band performed four winter pieces, which were described as highly diverse, consisting of genres such as metal rock, swing and more.

Source by Rachel Houng

Junior High Band sits patiently as they await instruction to begin interpreting their sheet music for the song "Winterwinds."

“‘Winterwinds’ is [a] classical work that depicts [a] wintry landscape,” band director Ms. Bagley said. “‘Camerado’ is a bright, optimistic Latin-inspired dance that depicts various stages of friendship. ‘THRASH!’ is a modern overture, which is inspired by metal rock music of the 80s and 90s. Finally, ‘Selections from The Polar Express’ is a medley of songs from the classic Christmas movie.”

Similarly, the orchestra worked tirelessly to prepare for their concert. From songs such as “Divertimento” by Mozart to Tchaikovsky's “The Nutcracker Ballet,” the orchestra aimed to capture the essence of winter in their pieces.

When asked to describe the preparation process involved before the concert, Ms. Tomkiw, director of the orchestra program, touched upon the selection process for each piece.

“Keeping in mind that there are three orchestras performing, each with their own repertoire, I believe that each selection was chosen first from a learning point of view,” orchestra director Ms. Tomkiw said. “I consider each piece as to what technical skills the students will be studying, what musical skills and what musically significant concepts we will be exploring as we rehearse each piece. From a holiday standpoint, I have tried to present a repertoire that is engaging and reflective of the traditions of the time."

Source by Julia Esposito

"My hope is that each musical selection can be viewed as a gift to the audience,” Ms. Tomkiw said.

On the other hand, chorus sang household classics such as “Sleigh Ride,” as well as songs from nations such as Sweden, bringing new musical styles into the mix.

Sophomore Sophia Jacob shared the chorus' plans before the concert occurred.

“The chorus pieces have a variety of songs with a wide range of tones,” Jacob said. “‘Sleigh Ride’ is a well-known holiday song which is a classic. ‘War is Over’ takes more of a serious tone while still remaining beautiful. Additionally, the chorus is performing pieces of other languages. We are singing a Swedish song called ‘Jul, Jul Stralande Jul’ which is very soft-spoken.”

Source by Rachel Houng

Senior High Choir performs the famous Arabic piece "Lamma Bada Redo."

Just as the holiday concerts remain a tradition, seniors each year approach their last performances. Participating seniors looked forward to this concert, as it was one of their last chances to be a part of NHP’s musical performances.

“I am upset that this is one [of] my last concerts here at NHP, but I know that we are prepared. I am very proud of the band this year, and we all have been working incredibly hard to make this music amazing,” senior Matthew Zatz said.


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