Saint Francis Preparatory School held its annual Christmas Concert on Friday, December 10, 2010. Some of Prep’s best musical groups played that night, including String Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, Concert Chorus, and Honors Orchestra.
String Orchestra was the first ensemble to perform. Conducted by Mr. Joseph Higgins, they performed “The Holly and the Ivy” and “Hallelujah Chorus.” Listeners agreed it was one of the best performances the group has ever given.
After String Orchestra, Percussion Ensemble performed four amazing songs conducted by Mr. Mark Teofilo. The four songs they played were the following: “Bayport Sketch,” “Sleep of the Infant Jesus,” “Patapan,” and “Here Drums Santa Claus.” Every year, the Percussion Ensemble animates the audience with their incredible music. A favorite song of the night was “Here Drums Santa Claus,” not only because it had a creative title, but also because the corresponding music was brilliant.
Chamber Orchestra, conducted by Mr. Robert L. Johnston, followed String Orchestra with “Praise Ye The Lord of Hosts,” from Christmas Oratorio. The orchestra never fails to impress audience members with its beautifully tuned instruments, great pitch, and intonation, and this night was no exception. They performed a total of six musical pieces, including “Spring” and “Autumn” from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, “Over the Rainbow,” “Bouree” and “Hornpipe” from Handel’s the Water Music Suite, and “Greensleeves.” With such awe-inspiring performances, it is hard to believe the Chamber Orchestra practices together less than three days a week.
Concert Chorus, conducted by Mr. Gregory Madama, was the only vocal group of the night. They performed “Carol of the Bells,” “Riu, Riu, Chiu,” “All I ask of You” from The Phantom of the Opera, and “All I want for Christmas is You.” The audience was especially enlivened by this last song, though the Concert Chorus sounded wonderful throughout.
Honors Orchestra, conducted by Mr. Johnston, had the closing performance. They performed “Carols for Strings,” “Santa at the Symphony,” and “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas,” was narrated by Mr. Nicholas Paccione of the English Department. Between the captivating narration and the creative interludes of the orchestra, the piece made for a fantastic ending to the concert and left the members of the audience with big smiles on their faces.