Winter Concert set to return with holiday favorites and historical tributes


Elliot Heath

The Winter Concert returns in person this year.

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This month the Music Department will once again present the Winter Concert in the Townsend Harris auditorium. The December 14 event provides an opportunity to showcase students’ musical abilities and hard work, and this year Band teacher Kevin Heathwood promises some holiday favorites like “Jingle Bells” and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.” The concert will also feature the premiere of the Townsend Harris Chamber Winds group, which members of the Wind Ensemble recently formed to perform at a higher level in a smaller, more intimate chamber setting. 

There will be two performances, one from first band to sixth band and the other in the evening. The first performance is for students to watch during the school day and the evening one is primarily for parents and family members. Mainly freshmen and sophomores are performing.

Regarding the premiere of the Chamber Winds group, Mr. Heathwood said, “Each player [in the group] has their own part and there is no conductor, so they have to listen and follow each other. It is similar to Mr. Lee’s Chamber Strings group, but it’s wind instruments instead.”

“It’s going to be a performance you won’t want to miss,” Mr. Heathwood said. “Many of the groups performing…are soon to be award-winning performing groups. Come see them while you can still afford to, before we make it to the big time.”

Dr. Mariko Sato Berger has been leading the chorus side of the concert since 2006. She said she tries to incorporate topics from history and social justice into the songs her classes play. This year, she said they learned about figures like Harriet Tubman and James Baldwin, and will be performing the song “Stand Up” which was in the film Harriet, a movie based off of Harriet Tubman’s life. 

Mr. Heathwood discussed his work with Dr. Sato and Orchestra teacher Chris Lee. “By collaborating and running shows together it strengthens our music program, builds camaraderie between the groups, and raises the bar of what we can accomplish,” he said. 

Sophomore Julie Remache, who will play the violin in the Winter Concert said she was excited for the concert because it was “It’s a nice time to just listen to music and performances. It’s relaxing in a way.”

Last year’s Winter Concert was canceled due to the Omicron variant-related rise in COVID-19 cases.

Photo by Elliot Heath