The sounds of fall: (autumn)matopoeias galore

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With the semester well underway and fall festivities in full swing, Northwood’s instrumental and vocal programs held their annual Fall Concerts from Oct. 16-18.

Choir kicked off the music-filled week with a special performance, coined by Vocal Director Zach Halop as the “Fun01” concert, which taught the audience about vocal music’s history, from Greece and the Renaissance to the various genres of modern music. To provide the audience with examples of music from these time periods, groups performed a wide variety of musical selections that ranged from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “Lacrimosa” to American mountain ballad “Old Joe Clark.” At the end, Halop tested the audience on what they learned from the performance, rewarding the entire audience with chocolate chip cookies specially made by Northwood’s Culinary Arts. With this new concert format, the audience became a larger part of the performance while performers gained experience singing in different styles and learning new techniques along the way, according to choir students.

“It was really cool to see Halop teach the audience what we’ve learned throughout our time in choir,” sophomore Anlon Zhu said. “Having the different groups sing music from different periods also helped us conceptualize the nuances of different periods.”

The following night, all of Northwood’s bands performed under the theme of folk music. Each band played pieces inspired by American, English and Welsh folk music, performing works written by composers such as Ralph Vaughan Williams and Gustav Holst. Instrumental music director Ben Case and interim instrumental music director Matt Ballard conducted Concert Band, Symphonic Band, Wind Ensemble and Wind Symphony. Students were taught to consider the distinct emotion of each movement, how to balance the sound and the proper style with which to play, depending on the composer and time period.

“It really does pay off to put in the effort and spend rehearsals practicing,” junior Pancham Pawan said. “The feeling of performing what I practiced with a special group of people is one of the best feelings.”

The Fall Concert series concluded with performances from Northwood’s orchestral ensembles. With graceful classical pieces such as Mozart’s “Papageno Suite” and lively folk tunes such as Holst’s “St. Paul’s Suite,” audience members enjoyed timeless melodies in an uplifting performance that spoke to the mirth of autumn.

“I really enjoyed the Holst suite,” senior Michelle Cho said. “It used a lot of classic themes and songs that I remember.”

In case you missed the Fall Concert series, there’s always more chances to enjoy fun-filled performances from Northwood’s talented musicians. Northwood’s instrumental and choral groups will be hard at work for the next two months to put on another spectacular performance at the Winter Gala, to be held on Dec. 14.