The RHS Music Department kicked off the first part of the winter concert Dec. 7 in the auditorium with a holiday-spirited theme under the direction of new band and orchestra teacher Nicole Sherlock.
Four ensembles performed at the concert: the concert band, concert orchestra, symphonic band and symphony strings. The second part of the concert was Dec. 14 when the jazz ensemble and concert choir perform.
Each of the four ensemble played three to four songs, with at least one song being a holiday classic, such as “Brazilian Sleigh Bells” performed by the concert band or “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” performed by the symphony strings.
This was the first concert for Sherlock who moved from Hawaii to replace Phil Barnes as the band and orchestra teacher. Sherlock had previously been chair of the music department and taught band, orchestra and marching band at Admiral Arthur W. Radford High School.
“Everything went very well, the students were well-behaved and prepared to do their very best,” Sherlock said. “There really wasn’t anything that was vastly different [between RHS and Hawaii] except that we have our own auditorium here at RHS and in my last school in Hawaii we did not have an auditorium on campus. We had to bus everyone and the equipment up to a performance venue.”
The musicians put hours into rehearsal in order to deliver a quality and enjoyable performance. Students have band or orchestra class every day and are expected to practice outside of school for a suggested two hours per week minimum, with some students even taking private lessons.
“It [the concert] went really well, way better than expected. The other groups did great and I feel like they practiced just as hard as us and they had an awesome performance,” freshman symphonic band saxophonist Evan Powers said.
Concert band and concert orchestra performed first, with senior Luke Guthrie guest conducting a piece for concert band. This was followed by a 10-minute intermission before the symphonic band and symphonic orchestra closed out the night with their performances.
“I think that we definitely projected our sound well, and I think that it just sounded overall really well. I think our musicality was a lot better than it’s been in some of our run-throughs, so that was definitely a bonus,” symphony strings junior cellist Kristina Barnes said. “I think we were still really well-prepared and sounded good, so, definitely a good night.”