Winter Concert doesn’t disappoint

Selene Rubino

The 2009 MVHS Winter Concert opened to a crowded house and stage on Thursday Jan. 29, playing music written by British composers.
 

The 2009 MVHS Winter Concert opened to a crowded house and stage on Thursday Jan. 29, playing music written by British composers. While the music may have lacked subtlety due to the size of the production, many of the pieces were both unique and accompanied beautifully by soloists.
The concert started off on a high note as more than 200 choristers performing "Beatles in Revue" streamed in along the aisles and back of the stage, singing as soon as they found their positions. The music was marred by an overpowering background recording that droned on for the entirety of the medley, sometimes drowning out softer songs. However, the choir complemented the recording nicely in faster, livelier songs such as "She Loves You" and "Hey Jude." "Hey Jude" brought the medley to an exciting close with a perfectly harmonized "Da Da Da Dadadadaa"
 ImageString and Chamber Orchestras followed with the aptly named "Simple Symphony." The second movement of the symphony, "Playful Pizzicato", was played by plucking the strings of instruments rather than drawing bows. It had the effect of a tightly-strung guitar orchestra, enhancing changes in volume by keeping the music relatively quiet. But as the music went on, the plucks became less focused and off-time—more a strum than a pluck. This was a problem found throughout the symphony, especially in slower portions like "Sentimental Saraband." Unfortunately, "sentimental" translated to continuously slow down, decrescendo, nearly stop, and start again. It was very easy to lose track of both the beat and the melody.

The orchestras, choirs, and wind ensemble came together to finish the concert with the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber. Visually, it was impressive to see not only a full orchestra but also a choir assemble on stage. It might have been better to have fewer performers, since in many of the songs the background choristers were lost in rest of the sound.

As all of the finishing pieces were drawn from musicals, the attention was focused on vocals of soloists. Senior Clare So did a good job trying to hit the very high ending notes in Phantom of the Opera, accompanied by a sensual performance by senior John Chang (several girl audience members screamed). "Starlight Sequence" starred junior Charles Huh, who managed to sound just like a Disney hero while wearing suspenders and skinny jeans.