The choir, directed by Felecia Keys, rehearses before the choir and orchestra concert on Thursday, April 28.

Orchestra, choir to perform both light springy songs, traditional classical pieces at concert, Thursday, April 28

The choir, directed by Felecia Keys, rehearses before the choir and orchestra concert on Thursday, April 28.
Ethan Hockridge
Choir members freshman Brandy Riziki, sophomore Michelle Li, senior Diego Perochena, freshman Alice Kellie, junior Sylvaine Bucher, and sophomores Crystal Jiang and Zihao Sui rehearse with director Felecia Keys before the choir and orchestra concert on Thursday, April 28.

The spring concert will mix some light, springtime songs, like “Pirates of the Caribbean,” along with some traditional classic music, like “Elijah and Joshua” and “Palladio,” according to choir and orchestra teacher Felecia Keys.

On Thursday, April 28, at 7 p.m., the middle- and high-school orchestra and choirs will stage their spring concert in the MP Room.

The first performance features fifth grader Natalie Parks on the harp and freshman Chardonnay Needler on the cello playing “Canon in D” by Johann Pachelbel.

According to Needler, who has been playing for four years, “Canon in D” is performed at almost every wedding and is a simple and straightforward song that repeats only eight notes.

Needler said that she’s enjoyed working with a younger musician because Parks enjoys playing the harp and does it for fun.

“Seeing her youthful, innocent love for her instrument is really precious,” Needler said.

The choir will sing “Cantate Hodie” by Mary Lynn Lightfoot, “Elijah and Joshua” by Sally K. Albrecht and “I’ll Be There” by Roger Emerson. Junior Michelle Li, freshman Monique Lonergan and senior Diego Perochena will solo on “I’ll Be There.”

Lonergan, who has been in the choir for three years, said that she has never sung a combination of soul and pop like in “I’ll Be There.”

“I’m really excited, but kind of nervous at the same time because I don’t want to let the choir or Ms. Keys down,” Lonergan said

Keys said “Cantate Hodie” is her favorite piece because it is about the joys of singing and is very upbeat.

Keys said that, as always, she picked two or three of her favorite pieces for the orchestra’s part of the program and then waited to see what her students attached themselves to in order to decide on the final set.

Keys said that her favorites are two of the more classical orchestra pieces, “Celtic Roots” and “Palladio.” Sophomore violinist Amalie Fackenthal will solo in both pieces, and freshman violinist Allison Zhang will solo in “Palladio.”

Fackenthal said that in “Celtic Roots,” she will play a melody and then the rest of the orchestra will join in, and in “Palladio” she will play a small section while the others play in the background.

“I feel really privileged,” Fackenthal said. “I’m hoping I can help make our concert very impressive.”

The orchestra will be performing these songs again at their music festival at Ohlone College in Fremont on Saturday, May 21.

Keys said that “Pirates of Caribbean” poses the greatest challenge for the orchestra because in one section of the song, there is a hemiola, in which part of the orchestra will play in 4/4 time and the other part will play in 6/4. Keys said that in the next few days the orchestra will practice tempo changes and emphasizing dynamics.

However, Keys said that the hardest part for her will be saying goodbye to the six seniors in the orchestra: Anthony Swaminathan, Jag Lally, Maddy Judd, Serajh Esmail, Colby Conner and Vanessa Previsic.

Keys said she met Judd and Esmail when they were in sixth grade and she began teaching at SCDS. Keys said she remembers some of the seniors’ bad habits, like plucking their instruments’ strings in between songs, and how they grew out of them and have become accomplished musicians since then.

“I get teary-eyed thinking that once this concert is over, we’ll never play together again,” Keys said.

—By Sonja Hansen

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