Band, Choir, and Hornet Harmonics Usher in the Holidays with a Beautiful Performance
Gabby Guitierrez '22 & Raima Islam '20
15 January 2020
On Thursday, December 19, the Passaic Valley Band, Choir and Hornet Harmonics hosted their annual Winter Concert to celebrate the upcoming holidays and winter season. Both gave strong performances for students, staff and community members in the Schneider Auditorium.
The show opened with Choir and Hornet Harmonics Director Ms. Pia Vanderstreet welcoming all guests. She proceeded to introduce PV’s a cappella group The Hornet Harmonics, who sang “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas.” Chris Perez ‘22 and Ashley Povolo ‘20 were featured soloists during their performance of “The Prayer” by Celine Dion. Audience members took note of their impressive performance. “One part of the concert that especially stood out to me was [their performance] as featured soloists,” stated Jasmin Nuestro ‘21. “I appreciated how they changed up the traditional a cappella performance.”
Following a cappella’s captivating performances, band members Jeremy Kalokitis ‘20, Raven Abbe ‘20, and Daniel Dransfield ‘21 performed a Christmas medley as a trio. The three stunned the audience with their trumpet, flute, and saxophone abilities.
“Putting together the piece didn’t prove to be as hard as we thought it was going to be. In total we practiced about three times together and then we were concert ready,” recalled Abbe. “I wasn’t surprised because Jeremy and Dan are so talented that it was no question that we would all be prepared for the concert.”
Abbe remained on stage as she played flute for the Choir, which sang “Ave Maria,” a Latin song by Franz Schubert. Choir then sang a Spanish song, “A La Medianoche,” and the Irish classic, “The Irish Blessing.” The Choir concluded with the well-loved song “Holiday Road” by Lindsey Buckingham.
The Band and Choir continued their annual tradition of playing and singing “Let the Lord Bless You” all together. The choir strode around the auditorium while singing the classic, encouraging the audience to join in.
To be able to produce such strong performances throughout the concert, the Music Department began planning as early as last spring. The students joined the preparation in September by practicing their songs and routines through official rehearsals and independent practice.
Ms. Vanderstreet and Mr. DeLuccia aspired to include varied holiday music to represent diverse beliefs and cultures. “This allowed us to broaden our horizons with the type of music we could play.”
Mr. DeLuccia loves watching all of the hard work being put together on stage. Despite all of the craziness beforehand, the show comes together in the best of ways. “It always makes me happy to see them pull through,” Mr. DeLuccia said.