The Winter Concert weekend kicked off the Friday of December 2 with the Jazz Concert at the Santa Fe Prep Driscoll Auditorium. Both the Jazz Essentials and Jazz Performance groups showcased their talent at the concert. Several students in both groups, performed using different instruments throughout the concert, exhibiting the student’s firm grasp and understanding of the structure and concept of each piece played. A few students sang, some doing it for the first time in front of an audience! Behind the scenes in preparation for the concert, all students contributed their ideas on the different arrangements performed.
Concert photos by Artotems Co. Click to view larger images.
Elementary Strings and Mariachi performed on Saturday, December 3 at the St. Francis Auditorium. According to ES Director, Sarah Gachupin, “the greatest feat for the Elementary Strings students was that they had never played with the other schools in the program but were able to come together with a 45-minute rehearsal and play amazingly well together.” Students also went with the flow when they had to change a couple of the notes at rehearsal.
The Mariachi Concert featured folk classics as well as some modernized arrangements of mariachi music featuring a significant crop of new students in the Mariachi Garibaldi group. The beginner students are already making progress and shaping up to be great future additions to the advanced group. Many of the Mariachi Estrella students have been part of the group for as long as 9 years! Mariachi Director, Jesus Gachupin remarks: “The level of the group has increased and the energy in rehearsals is exciting. Estrella students have always had a great level of talent but our cohesiveness as a group has solidified even more this year. I feel we’re a little mariachi family.” The group was accompanied by director Jesus Gachupin, violin instructor Gabe Tafoya, trumpet instructor Emily Maestas, and Guitarron parent volunteer, Steven Montano.
The Orchestras Concert took place on December 4, also at the St. Francis Auditorium where Intermezzo, Youth Philharmonia, and the Youth Symphony Orchestra groups all performed.
According to conductor, Karles McQuade, “the greatest challenge Intermezzo faced this semester was preparing and performing the tenor chorus "Wachet Auf" from JS Bach's Cantata no. 140. Nearly 6 minutes long, this work is double the standard length that Intermezzo usually performs.” In addition to the length, Intermezzo students were exposed to performing with baroque bows, which would have been appropriate for the music of Bach's era, but sound and feel very different from the modern conventional bows in place since the mid 1800s. Being a baroque work, the piece also called for a continuo part, usually played on organ or harpsichord. In this instance the part was played by one of our violinists, who also has previous keyboard experience, on the harpsichord. To pile on the challenges further, Intermezzo was joined by rev. Doug Escue, who sang the tenor part. Accompanying a singer, managing a full orchestral sound without drowning out a soloist, was yet a another new experience for Intermezzo. Despite all this novelty and challenge, the Intermezzo kids most certainly rose to the occasion, and will begin in the spring ready for, as Michael Palin puts it, "Something completely different."
For the Youth Philharmonia performance, three students were asked to research the selection and composers of the pieces that the group would be performing. Olivia Bell, "Legend"; Dean Gonzales", Dance of the Tumblers" and Xitlalitl-Rodas, "La Cumparcita". Conductor Richard Snider remarks that “they did a splendid job not only in their research and substance, but in their presentation to a full auditorium.”
The Youth Symphony Orchestra worked on a Schubert symphony that was quite challenging, and they did a fine job getting through it. For the first time in years, the YSO has a full horn section of four, conductor William Waag remarked that they represented themselves very well on Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake. Above all, the organization is especially proud of the ensemble's continued growth, even in this rebuilding year (many seniors graduated in 2016), it's a great sign of up coming semesters/years.
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Our Mission is to inspire and engage the youth of Northern New Mexico's multicultural communities through excellent music education, the guidance of music professionals, and performance opportunities from small ensemble to full orchestra in Jazz, Mariachi and Orchestra.