Three Nights of Music


Isabella Mountrichas, Co-Editor-in-Chief

As we wrap up the school year, our music department, as always, went out with a bang during their final concerts, which took place over the course of three days during the second and third weeks of May. There’s a reason why our school was recognized for the ninth consecutive year with the Best Communities for Music Education designation from The NAMM Foundation for its outstanding commitment to music education. as one of the best schools for music this year.  We were able to see many different styles of music ranging from Beethoven to ABBA to video game themes. Students even stepped up to the plate and conducted. The music department has such dedication to their work and it showed in how wonderfully they all played. 

On the first night of this three-day concert, the String, Chamber, and Symphony Orchestras, conducted by Ms. Thérèse Mannino, along with the Jazz Ensemble, conducted by Ms. Gina Pellettiere, performed. The String Orchestra performed four pieces with soloist Rajveer Oberoi on electric guitar and Trevor Gayron on acoustic guitar, along with senior Juliana Young conducting an old classic Dust in the Wind. The string blew the audience away with their windy and dramatic pieces and was a wonderful start to the night. The Jazz Ensemble followed by playing three pieces ranging from Benny Goodman, Haymes & Brandt, and Louis Prima. Listening to them play made you feel as if you had stepped right smack into a jazz club. The Chamber Orchestra then performed two very different pieces. The first piece performed had a very gentle, smooth feeling to it, while the second was very rigid and packed a punch that made you go “hello,” overall showing their amazing range of skills. To end the night the last group to perform was the Symphony Orchestra, the most difficult of the orchestra ensemble groups, who played a total of four songs. Three out of the four pieces were later played at NYSSMA Majors by the ensemble and received a Gold with Distinction (the highest award given). For those who are unfamiliar with NYSSMA Majors it is like the Superbowl for the ensembles. To end the night the Symphony Orchestra was joined by select Wind Ensemble students to perform Beethoven’s Symphony No.5 in C Minor, Op.77 which is a level six piece (level six is equivalent to professional level music). The Ensemble played as if they were professional  players, not just high school students. In those moments, they really were professional players.
On the second day of the three-day concerts, the Ninth Grade Band (conducted by Mr. David Abrams), Symphonic Band (conducted by Mr. Matthew DeMasi), and Wind Ensemble (conducted by Ms. Gina Pellettiere) performed.  The Ninth Grade band started off the night with three pieces, a great improvement compared to the last concert, showing great potential. The next performance was the Symphonic Band playing four pieces. They performed some recognizable tunes from games such as the theme from the video game Assassins Creed and a portion of the Naruto theme, along with soloist Annaliese Callahan on flute and Ryan Kopetic on electric bass. The Symphonic Band also had two student conductors. Seniors and drum majors Frank Rastelli and Janese Williams conducted the National Emblem (March). The Symphonic Band overall had a strong and compelling performance. To end the night the Wind Ensemble, which is the most difficult level band a student can take, performed three level six pieces. Later the Wind Ensemble performed at NYSSMA Majors receiving the score of Gold with Distinction. The band also had two student conductors including seniors and drum majors Katherine Marino and Kevin Piraino conducting The Gallant Seventh. The Wind Ensemble also played a piece from the Lord of the Rings featuring cello players from the Symphony Orchestra. Drum major Brian Stabile comments, “Although it was a bit weird having my first spring concert in my third year of high school, it was everything I could have dreamed of and more. I am so proud of the work we put in.”

Our third and final concert was the chorus groups with the Jazz Chorus and Women’s Chorus, conducted by Mr. Edward Kozlowski, as well as the Mixed Chorus and Daler A Cappella, conducted by Ms. Jessica Mischke. To start off the night the Vocal Jazz performed two pieces featuring James Hammelman on percussion, Seamus Vereline on bass, Matthew Williams on flute, and vocal soloists Ben Hoffman, Amanda Treulich, and Rebecca Kenjesky Amanda Treulich describes her experience: “ I had a great time performing together with the rest of the vocal jazz ensemble during the spring concert. Personally, the Frank Sinatra Medley we sang was my favorite – it was a really fun piece. Thank you Mr. K for making it all possible!” Second to perform was the Women’s Chorus who performed a total of five songs, ranging from folk music to the popular song “Dancing Queen” by ABBA. The Women’s Chorus had a wonderful performance, and later received a silver at NYSSMA Majors. The Daler A Cappella group performed two songs, one familiar to many teens today: “All For US” by Labyrinth and Zendaya. They again amazed the crowd with their ability to perform A Cappella. The final performance of the night was the Mixed Chorus, conducted by Ms. Jessica Mischke, performing four pieces. Being the largest group, their sound exploded across the auditorium. The Mixed Chorus later received a Gold Award at NYSSMA Majors. 

Overall the performances done across the three nights proved that nothing can stop music from being heard here at FHS.


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