Sleighing 2020: A musical showcase


Kaylee Charlton

THE SHOW MUST GO ON: Sophomore Christy Han (left) and freshman Audrey Lee (right) hit various buckets during their final rehearsal.

Matthew Dimaandal and Tyler Wong

December is the time for Northwood’s musicians to showcase their talents at the annual winter concert, but as COVID-19 affects extracurricular activities campus-wide, it becomes harder to spread holiday cheer through music. Despite these circumstances, the Northwood Instrumental Music Directors were able to continue this annual tradition through a Virtual Winter Showcase, set to premiere on Dec. 17 at 7 p.m. on YouTube.

The showcase will feature each Northwood ensemble, including the Irvine Virtual Academy Instrumental Music class, and combinations of audio and video performances of chamber pieces, large ensemble performances and solo works.

“The showcase is meant to acknowledge the hard work being done by our students throughout our program, as well as give students the chance to share their art,” Northwood Instrumental Music Director Ben Case said. “Though so much has changed this year, what has not changed is our commitment to providing our students with exceptional musical and artistic experiences.”

While conventional instrumentation of orchestras and bands will still be included, some of Northwood’s ensembles have created unorthodox performances. For instance, one particular performance in drumming, where students rhythmically hit different areas of plastic buckets and metal garbage cans using drumsticks.

“From a percussionist perspective, it’s cool to see other students learn our craft and how it’s more than just hitting things with sticks,” senior Sean Kawanami said. “I get to enjoy the company of friends and I still can go to class with a smile, under my mask of course.”

For many students, this event is an opportunity to express themselves through their music and hearing the diverse works produced by the different groups in each ensemble, all while adhering to COVID-19 safety guidelines.

“Even though it may not be as fun as traditional live concerts, the Winter Showcase will still be enjoyable,” senior Lara Gursoy said. “Playing music together brings a sense of normalcy and a breath of fresh air after a day of academic classes.”