Performing arts department hosts their annual holiday concert

Concert Choir performs Carol of the Bells with Linganore alumni and New Market Middle School students.

Yesenia Montenegro

Concert Choir performs “Carol of the Bells” with Linganore alumni and New Market Middle School students.

by Yesenia Montenegro and Lauren Hall

On December 7, the performing arts department had their annual holiday concert. The concert was conducted by Damon Dye and Kevin Lloyd.

The 2017 Holiday Concert included six ensemble groups: the string quartet, the guitar ensemble, Merry TubaChristmas, the percussion ensemble, the concert choir, and the concert band.

The Concert Choir, directed by Dye, featured Linganore alumni, who came to regular practices to sing with the choir. They sang “Carol of the Bells,” which is a holiday concert tradition for the choir. They also joined the choir and concert band in the closing song, “White Christmas.”

Dye has been working with New Market Middle School to start a choir program there, to build early interest in the program. With more students ready to join choir in high school, they will be able to take the class.

He said, “The middle school students really liked singing with us. They’ve been practicing the song for the past three weeks and already had a great sound by themselves. I’m really looking forward to teaching them in high school.”

This year, choir classes were only offered in the spring semester. Dedicated members of the choir knew the holiday concert could not go on without “Carol of the Bells.”

According to Mr. Dye, “Choir students assembled after school and sometimes during PREP to prepare for this concert.”

Because of the choir students’ dedication, Linganore Performing Arts was able to provide a beautiful holiday concert show with select choir songs.

The string quartet opened the concert with “A Festival of Lights” and “Jingle Bell Rock.”

The guitar ensemble played three instrumental songs and one special song, featuring vocalist Presley Dougherty, “I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better” by Tom Petty.

Merry TubaChristmas lined up to play “Joy to the World.”

Merry TubaChristmas, an ensemble of Santa-hat-wearing tuba and trombone players, all had instruments decorated in festive tinsel and lights.

“Christmas Eve Sarajevo 12/24” was a crowd favorite, performed by the percussion ensemble. The percussion ensemble performed five songs other songs as well. This song is most famous from the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and students worked hard to give a great performance of it.

It was shown to Mr. Lloyd by a guitar student as a guitar ensemble. Mr. Lloyd found the percussive music to match it and created an guitar and percussion ensemble.

An important performance of the evening was “A Solitary Wish.” It is written by Brian Balmages, a friend of Dye and Lloyd, who created it to raise money for homeless people. Belmages has almost reached his goal of $10,000 and is currently at $9,696.

According to Mr. Lloyd, “Brian Balmages was inspired to compose “A Solitary Wish” when he asked himself what he can do to help the homeless during the holidays. He wrote A Solitary Wish to benefit the homeless by charging for the piece of music. He has now raised over $13,000. ”

Class of 2020 Member and trumpet player Alyson Sniffen said, “I think our best performance was “A Solitary Wish.”  think we did really well with it and it was done for a great cause.”

The night finished with “Sleigh Ride,” “A Christmas Festival,” and last, but not least, “White Christmas.”

The concert choir performed the finale “White Christmas” with the choir. It was a great way to end the concert because everyone came together. There were also students over the stage dropping fake snow onto the stage, making it a “real” white Christmas.