Staying Warm With Northside’s Cozy Melodies
By Anahi Anaya
As the holidays approached, friends and families gathered to reminisce about this year’s events, bidding farewell to the journey of 2018 and welcoming the mysteries of 2019. Northside’s annual concerts remind Mustangs of the creativity that each student possesses, bringing everyone together to enjoy two hours worth of hard work, harmonies, and laughs. On Dec. 18, Northside hosted the 2018 Cozy Concert in the auditorium. Tickets were sold at the door for five dollars, although children 12 years old and younger were given free admittance. Performers laughed, families cried, melodies were played, and ugly Christmas sweaters were displayed. The event was both enjoyable and entertaining as the night passed in a merry bliss.
As people entered Northside’s auditorium, performers could be seen frantically running around, tuning their instruments, and getting in last-minute practice. Arrays of green and red lit up the room, as people showcased their festive spirits in flashy Christmas apparel and Santa hats. Walking through the doors, there were different sounds: strings being plucked, music sheets being turned, and people talking about their excitement. When the lights dimmed to cue the beginning of an exciting musical performance, chatter faded and cameras were brought out, ready to capture every moment.
The night began with a performance by the Symphonic Strings, led by Mr. Leo Park, Fine Arts Department. “The Cold of the Winter” by Newbold was a great start, creating an eerie yet calming vibe in the room. “Snowflake” by Yamada followed, its soothing melodies making up for the astonished silence.
Afterwards, select Chamber Strings members took their place at the front of the stage, to play the lengthy “Serenade in D Major” by W.A. Mozart. Julia Carlson, Adv. 005, and Gyury Lee, Adv. 001, were violin soloists and were accompanied by viola soloist Stanislaw Gunkel, Adv. 902, and cello soloist Brian Blanco, Adv. 907 in “Marcia,” “Menuetto,” and “Rondeau.”.
After this rendition, the whole orchestra joined together again to play two last pieces, with Gunkel at the drums, Blanco with a guitar and Jathan Torres, Adv. 909, at the keyboard. Symphonic strings played “Velocity” by Balmages and concluded with “Wizards in Winter” by O’Neill and Kinkel. The different sounds and instruments came together and made for a great conclusion for the orchestra, clearly showcasing the efforts of all the performers and their Christmas spirit.
With Orchestra out of the spotlight, it was the time for the Jazz Band to shine, led by Mr. Michael Lill, Fine Arts Department. The performers began with the classic “Deck the Halls” by Fraley, with a twist to accommodate the different instruments coming together, including keyboards, saxophones, and a guitar. This was followed by “Take the A Train” by Strayhorn/Pemberton, “Cute” by Hefti/Pemberton, and “The Holly and the Ivy” by Fraley. The band members ended with “Chameleon” by Hancock/Mantooth, where every member had a solo. Lill walked around, pointing to individual players after their solos, calling for applause and praise for the student’s hard work and moment in the spotlight.
Finally, the Concert Band took over, ready to end the concert with a bang. The group began with “First Suite in Eb for Military band” by Holst. The renditions of “Chaconne,” “Intermezzo,” and “March” were high-energy, with an array of loud melodies and an active band. Next was “Dies Irae” by Del Borgo, followed by “The Christmas Song” by Torme/Higgins. To conclude the concert, the band played “And the Mountains Echoed Gloria!” by Longfield. The crowd applauded the band for its hard work and a long night was ended. Performers sighed with relief as they put their instruments away, hugged fellow performers goodbye, and finally met with their families.