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Music in May

By Carmela Drossman-Schlossberg

As April showers brought May flowers, students prepared to showcase their musical ability at the spring concerts.

This year’s spring concerts were split into three days: May 17, May 18 and May 22. On Wednesday, May 17, the seventh grade chorus, senior high chorus and the orchestra displayed their musical talent. The following day, the junior and senior high jazz band, Chamber singers and eighth grade orchestra demonstrated their melodic abilities. On the final day of the concerts, the seventh and eighth grade band, eighth grade chorus and senior high band performed. The music department, chaired by Mr. Noel Monat, worked hard to create a program to excite, entertain and enrapture listeners.

Source by Anna Detke

Senior David Ren conducts the String Ensemble piece "Blue Rhythmico."

The concerts contained songs from a multitude of backgrounds. For example, “Siyahamba,” sung by seventh grade choir, is a South African freedom song that means “We Are Marching” in the Zulu language. There were also many well-known songs performed, such as “City of Stars” from “La La Land” by the senior high choir and “Beauty and the Beast” by the senior high orchestra.

“I really enjoyed all the different songs that we played, and liked that they were from different cultures,” freshman Anisha Chakroborty said.

Preparation for the concerts consisted of weeks of rehearsal and lessons during the performers’ free periods. Songs were chosen to show a wide variety of music and, in some cases, to focus on a larger work, such as “Phantom for the Opera”' performed by the senior high choir.

Source by Anna Detke

Seniors Debarati Chowdhury and Julia Esposito sing a duet of "Sous le dôme épais (Flower Duet from Lakmé)".

After COVID, many students seem to anticipate the concerts and the ability to perform in front of an audience.

“I think one of the greatest things is that the further we get from COVID and those years, I love how much more enthusiastic the singers are getting and how successful the concerts seem to be,” chorus teacher Mr. Christian McLeer said.

Source by Anna Detke

Senior Izhaan Ahmed plays the trumpet during his final concert at New Hyde Park Memorial.

The concerts gave students an opportunity to display their dedication toward musical crafts and teamwork. Ishita Bansal, the president of the Chambers choir, performed a solo song, “Jason’s Song (Gave It Away)” by Jason Brown and Ariana Grande, while playing bass guitar (provided by math teacher Mr. Sime) with Matthew Zatz on the cajón and Mr. McLeer on the keys. She also arranged the song “What I Did for Love” by Marvin Hamlisch from the musical “A Chorus Line,” which she previously performed in for a local production. The process of creating an arrangement for an entire choir required collaboration from the whole group.

Performer Ishita Bansal provided behind-the-scenes insight.

Q: What was it like working with the chambers and arranging “What I Did for Love”?

Ishita Bansal: It was hard to start because this piece, along with a lot of the other pieces we’ve done this year, is relatively difficult to sing as a choir because of its harmonies and phrasing. After emphasizing the need to practice and having it ready, we were able to come together and get a really great sounding product.

Q: Did you have any prior experience with the bass?

IB: Very little. I had played this piece once before in a workshop, but it was on a smaller scale and with the intent of just being exposed to new instruments. Picking up the bass again two weeks ago felt like starting from scratch again with the instrument.

Source by Anna Detke

President of New Hyde Park Chamber Singers, senior Ishita Bansal sings her solo "Jason's Song (Gave It Away)" by Ariana Grande.

Q: What made you choose to perform “What I Did for Love” and “Jason’s Song (Gave It Away)”?

IB: I love music that I feel evokes emotion. If I listen to something that makes me think, it makes me want to perform it. While both songs have very different vibes, they both make me very happy, and I want to share that feeling with the Chamber's members and the audience.

After each set, awards were presented to NHP’s seniors as these shows marked their final concerts at NHP. To honor the performers, speeches were made to send-off the seniors. Many felt that the concert was not only enjoyable to play in but to watch as well.

“I was watching Monday’s concert and I thought that everyone did an amazing job. I really enjoyed listening to all the different songs,” seventh grader Hailey Sanassi said.


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