Angelic voices, technical brilliance and virtuosic performance

A Winter Fest reviewed

On a mid-winter’s night in 2017 the Music Department showcased the first semester’s work in a concert starting in the Chapel and finishing in the Hall. College parent, Valerian Rego, wrote this review.

On Tuesday, 13 June 2017, I had the pleasure of hearing all the Santa Sabina Ensembles perform at their major mid-year concert titled “A Winter Fest 2017”.

Starting at the Chapel we heard a smorgasbord of music spanning 350 years, from Bach and Vivaldi to Edwards and Byrne. In the second half of the evening we moved to the Hall to hear more music from a variety of styles including Jazz, concert and symphonic music. On the way to the Hall we were accompanied and entertained with the exciting sounds of the Taiko Drummers, who continue to blow us away with their energy. What a blast to warm our spirits on this wintery evening.

The solo performances by Victoria Jacono (violin), Naomi Rego (violin), Tallulah Fitzroy (trumpet) and Catherine Zhang (violin) were a diverse display of musical genres and executed with technical brilliance.

The Choirs performed a number of exciting and unique pieces. The rich and complex harmonies which echoed in the Chapel resonated with the audience. Night Fires composed by Luke Byrne, our Director of Choral Music was a standout. It comprised energetic and rhythmic sequences from the orchestra, while the angelic and vibrant voices of the choir transported the listener to another dimension. The stomping of feet and clapping of hands by the choristers embellished the dynamic force of this exciting composition.

March to the Scaffold by Berlioz conducted by Paul Goodchild was exhilarating. The Symphony Orchestra performed this piece with great “gusto”. The sounds emanating from every section of the orchestra was sensational and refreshing. Catherine Jiang’s performance of the Bruch Violin Concerto with the Orchestra was outstanding. Both soloist and orchestra displayed virtuosic performance borne out of dedication, discipline and hard work.

The mood shifted dramatically when the Stage Band and Percussion Ensemble took to the stage. The Santa Hall was transformed into a Jazz Club with the sounds of Ellington and Gershwin. Moments later, thrown into a Latino dance hall with the music of Puente. Feet were indeed tapping to the beats. The Concert Band conducted by Mark Lewis concluded this sensational evening with big sounds, leaving the audience humming familiar tunes all the way to their cars.

A Winter Fest 2017 – what a warm feast!

Valerian Rego