Article by: Ahona S.
Every year, the ISM Fine and Performing Arts Department prepares a variety of concerts and festivals which appeal to the masses of the ISM community. Among them is one of the first concerts of the year, the Great Works Concert, which was held on the 22nd of September in the Fine Arts Theater.
This year marked the sixth Great Works Concert, which consisted of challenging musical pieces performed by the Symphonic Band, HS Orchestra, and Show Choir. A variety of instruments were played during this concert, including wind, percussion, and string instruments. Band teacher, Mr. Nazareno, explains that “the concert is meant to push the boundaries of the students’ limits. The pieces are not for high school students; they are for professionals.” According to Orchestra teacher, Mr. Bobisse, “the Great Works is the biggest opportunity we have to tackle important works for classical music. This year, the main piece we are performing is Rhapsody in Blue. Generally, you never have a chance to play these songs in school, so the students are exposed to something different and not the typical school repertoire.”
The piano soloist of the concert, senior Lisa Z. admitted that she felt “a little nervous, especially because [she] does not want to let down all the people who have worked so hard for this concert.” In her opinion, “the aim of the Great Works is to honor historical greats who have contributed so much to music as well as promote music in the ISM community.” Junior Jinny P., a flutist, explains that the concert is also a great way to develop technical playing skills and “build teamwork among the participants.”
Junior and viola player Kyle Kim says that he was “very nervous because the pieces are very difficult.” This year’s featured piece, George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, is fourteen minutes long, and John Rutter’s Magnificat is eight minutes long. However, he was relatively confident “because [they have] done plenty of practice.” Junior Alice J., a new student at ISM and also a member of the orchestra, also admits that she felt nervous, but thinks that “[the concert] is a great opportunity because [she] hasn’t played the violin in quite a few years, so it’s a good way to get back into the habit of playing.”
Show Choir teacher, Ms. Provencher, highlights the unique aspect to this year’s concert by explaining that “the Manila Symphonic Orchestra will come to play, so professionals [will be] coming in and playing with the students.” As for the level of preparation, she jokes that she will always want to have one more rehearsal. However, despite the short amount of time the performers had to prepare, the support from teachers and fellow classmates gave them the confidence to put on a wonderful show.