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School Christmas performance draws huge crowd

Last Thursday evening at 6:30 p.m., Rosemary Clarke Middle School held their winter concert in the gymnasium. A full house of spectators greeted the concert performers. An estimated 1,500 attended the concert. The winter concert was organized and directed by Robert C. White.

The concert started off with a B-flat major scale consisting the whole notes. Embouchure and breath control were in perfect sync as not a single note from the concert band sounded flat.

RCMS’ eighth-grade band started the evening off with “Home,” the 2012 Summer Olympics theme song arranged by Victor Lopez. They continued with “Rock that Bach,” one of Johan’s minuets arranged by Robert Sheldon. They concluded their music selection with “Batman,” arranged by Mike Story.

The evening continued with an assortment of instrument solos where White would call his students to the front of the stage and have them perform their musical selections.

The first solo was a saxophone solo. Eli Rogers performed “Turkish March,” by Mozart. The second solo was also a saxophone solo. Taelyn Roberts-Oliver performed “Besa Me Mucho.”

“I felt pretty calm compared to what I have felt before. I practiced a lot, so I knew I could do it,” said Roberts-Oliver.

Spencer Lane performed a piano solo piece “Spinning Song.” The concert then had a change up from instruments to vocals. Darien Rivera sang “Blurry Eyes,” his performance included a unique onstage martial art dance while he sang the lyrics in Japanese.

White added a vocal solo to the program in the last minute, which did not end up on the concert program. Quiandra Randolph performed “Pray,” by Justin Bieber.

“I was pretty nervous. It was pretty scary being up in front of everybody. I’m glad I did it,” said Randolph.

The music program at RCMS currently has a music appreciation class for sixth-graders. However, occasionally a sixth grader will ask White if they may perform in the winter concert. White allowed Cali Mashore to perform a rendition of, “Rolling in the Deep,” by Adele.

The evening continued as the concert band performing an assortment of songs arranged by Michael Sweeney. The selection consisted of “Jingle Bells,” “Up on the House Top,” “Hanukkah Song,” and “Jingle Bell Rock.”

The concert continued with more instrument solos. White performed accompaniments with guitar and piano for several of the concert soloists. Sarah Mason performed a flute solo to “The Little Drummer Boy.” Carly Meza and Amanda Delatorriente gave a trumpet duet performance of “Jolly Old St. Nick.” Alyssa Sieferi performed a guitar solo performance of “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” Marissa Blackman performed a trumpet solo of “Silent Night.” Daniel Leivas performed a sax solo of “Oh, Christmas Tree.”

Carmen Changano played a piano solo of “Oh Come Emmanuel.” While she performed the concert band cleared the band area and went to sit with their families while the concert choir moved into place for their performances.

RCMS Concert Choir performed “Amani Utupe” (Grant Us Peace, Give Us Courage) by Patsy Ford Simms, “Carol of the Bells” arranged by Ricardo Spina and “Winter Light” by Mary Lynn Lightfoot.

The concert choir performed “December Around the World,” which consisted of lyrics being sung with languages from around the world.

Joie Riel, Britney Hull and Heather Edwards finished the concert with a performance of “We Wish You a Mary Christmas.”

“I feel the show went off really well. Every year I go through these changes about a week before. Wondering if we are really going to pull it together or not. For some reason, there are these things that just don’t seem to be working and it’s just a real big challenge. But then in the last few days it seem to just go together like tumblers in a safe and you unlocked the performance.” said White.

After the concert, families of the performers rallied together with a potluck for the audience. Other family members helped pack the concert band’s musical gear and audience seating. They then helped to clean the gymnasium floor for school the next day.