Returning to Concerts


Jazz band. Left to right: senior JJ Miller, sophomore Sadie Van Tassel, senior Aidan DeNardo, junior Majd Victor, sophomore Jacob Bush, junior Nathan Lee and junior Audrey Kim.

Music poured out of the music wing this December as the first two music nights in nearly two years took place. It was a good “note” to set for this new chapter of in-person music programs.

In previous years, there has been one big music night to highlight all of the music programs, including the chorus, band and orchestra. However, this year, there were two concerts, one for the orchestra and concert band that took place on Dec. 1 and another for the jazz band and choral groups that took place on Dec. 15. 

I play violin in the orchestra, and it was exciting to be back on stage, sharing music with a stand partner. It felt as if we were in “normal” times again.

Others felt the same way:

Senior marimbist Tom Halko said, “Being back on stage for the first time since 2019 was a bit surreal, but something about it still felt natural. Even though we were gone for so long, I still felt at home on the stage. Once the lights go down and we start to play, you forget about how long it’s been since the last time. All I was thinking about was just to perform how I know to perform.”

Junior violinist Aleena Robin said, “It felt satisfying to play again after the pandemic.”

Junior singer Danielle Nugent said, “Though this isn’t my first time performing on stage this year (I was in Puffs), I could feel the nervous energy from my peers. In addition, it was crazy how professional everyone acted. People took this concert seriously, and I think that contributed to making the concert a success.”

After having online music classes for so long, having another concert was a welcomed change.

Orchestra teacher Mrs. Erin Antioquia said, “It was a great experience for musicians and audience members to be a part of a live music performance. I am so grateful that the orchestra members chose not to give up on their instruments during a time when so many things were placed on hold or even forgotten altogether. To me, that really shows the true power of music, as well as their dedication to the program and each other. We were all thrilled to be united in harmony once again.”

Violinists junior Abby Gregg and sophomore Ellen Moyle. Photo credits: HHTV.

Junior trumpeter Kaitlyn Stielow said, “It was really fun to have a live audience again. I know during the pandemic, the band held a virtual concert in which members of the band recorded themselves, and everyone’s parts were compiled together.

“But playing in a concert is refreshing after being stuck inside for so long. It is very difficult to play music when you are separated from people. Being on calls and recording yourself sounds different as compared to playing in-person. Also, it is more difficult to play when you cannot get immediate feedback. Being in-person is better for the ‘blend and balance’ in a band, in which you try to listen to others and blend, so that your part does not stick out. Also, there is a social aspect. Being in-person, you are able to socialize with other people in the band, which is fun.”


Junior violinist Hannah Peak said, “It was nice to play for an audience again.”

There was a little hindrance to the Dec. 1 band/orchestra performance: the stage crew for the winter play, Puffs, had already put up their set, right where the orchestra was supposed to perform. 

So, the band and orchestra were situated in front of the stage instead of on it.

Tom said, “This concert was a little different for us because we had to adjust our normal set up. The set for Puffs is currently screwed into the stage, and since we normally are all on stage we had to adjust so that the winds were on the ground and percussion was on the front of the stage.”

Senior violist Nick Giandomenico said, “I was excited to perform again. The stage situation sums up the past two years being crazy.”

Overall, many musicians were thankful for the opportunity to play all together again.

Senior violinist Aaniya Khokhar said, “I think the orchestra concert brought us together as a community, especially considering the fact that we have not been able to have one in so long. I’m glad to have been able to perform in one before graduating in January.”

Junior violinist Selda Oksuz said, “The concert experience was really valuable. It was great to be able to play with my stand partners again.”

Junior Katie Harrington said, “Choir has always been a huge part of my life. I have been involved in music for as long as I can remember, and it was really hard to go so long without it. It was such an honor to perform not only with the concert choir but with the Madrigals as well! I have loved and always will love sharing music with others and look forward to the rest of the concerts later in the year.

“Thanks to the hard work of our chorus director, Mrs. Lagan, and the incredibly talented singers of the choirs, we were able to perform in a concert that had a wide variety of music. After not performing in person for nearly two years, I think that this concert went unbelievably smoothly and was extremely successful. I am so thankful to be a part of such an amazing group that was able to create a wonderful concert.”