Encore! VAPA’s festive Finter Concert

Yejin Heo, Staff Writer

At the cue of their director, members of Viva Cantar choir took a deep breath before performing the concert’s title song during the first day of the Finter Concerts. A rush of sound filled the stage as the audience smiled at the familiar melody of “Anybody Have a Map?” from the musical “Dear Evan Hansen.”

I was seated indoors enjoying a music concert for the first time in almost two years. A symphony of sound resounded throughout Northwood’s campus as part of the choir, orchestra and band Finter Concerts on Nov. 16, 18 and 20. 

“It felt so amazing to finally be together and sing on stage again,” Bel Canto choir soloist junior Catie Jamieson said. “It was exciting to have a live audience and to be able to share all of our hard work in class to our friends and family. It was truly a magical night.” 

Falling on the cusp between fall and winter, the Finter Concert was coined accordingly, featuring holiday medleys, traditional classical repertoire, Halloween tunes and more. Some familiar pieces even took on a new meaning for me as the directors took time to read song lyrics and explain the histories of the pieces before performing. 

On Saturday, the band concert was held outside for the first time using an inflatable shell on the football field, made possible by a generous donation by an IPSF Mega Grant. 

“The turtle shell added dimension to our concert,” Wind Symphony baritone saxophone player junior Bhargavi Deshpande said. “We set it up in the morning and it was heavy, but it ended up being a nice addition to the band.” 

In addition to the spectacle of the band concert, another highlight from the Finter concert was Philharmonic Orchestra’s “Holberg Suite” by Edvard Grieg, which ranged from a rich opening movement to a driven violin and viola duet played by concertmaster senior Miya Liu and principal violist senior Amy Takagi.

I was captivated by the energetically charged performances given by every musician and admired the connection between the performers and conductor that seemed to have strengthened even over a period of distanced rehearsals. 

“Being in the audience felt nostalgic because I went to every music concert in my freshman year, and it was a warming experience being able to attend them again,” senior Andy Hoang said. “I first went to the choir concert with the intention of it being my only Finter Concert viewing, but I ended up going to the orchestra and band ones too because I loved seeing my friends on stage and being able to recognize the talent our school has.” 

Every night after the concert, a huddle of audience members awaited the performers outside the theater doors with flowers and congratulatory words at hand. Here, I witnessed the school orchestrating the beauty in gathering to hear the harmony between musicians. 

As Finter transitions into a true winter, audiences will be able to enjoy another music concert at the Winter Gala Concert on Dec. 10, where Wind Symphony will be able to perform inside the theater due to COVID-19 guidelines changing during the last week of November. Attendees can look forward to another flurry of festive tunes that will billow through the campus once more.