The MHS Band Showcase Original Compositions at Winter Concert

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The sound of chatter echoes the Malden High School Auditorium as a lone figure walks upon the stage.  With the utter of her first word, the hall falls to silence, and the Malden High School’s annual Winter Instrumental Concert has begun.  

The concert began with the Small Ensembles.  In contrast to previous years, this year, the Small Ensembles performed their own original compositions along with an instrumental cover of a song.  Music teacher, Erin Mazza, gave free-reign when it came to the original compositions, leaving a set of guidelines to follow. Mazza continued, saying “they pretty much create it and [she] runs in and helps them with a few things.”  

A student playing the drums in a holiday sweater. Photo by Brandon Wong.

For sophomore Donald Ford, his group’s song, Rose, was mainly formed by freshman Joao.  Ford recounted the process, saying that Joao started with a small beat, and they really liked it.  Following this, each member of the group would start adding their own bit to the beat until the song was composed.

The first Small Ensemble, comprised of freshmen Adriana Velasco, Joao Victor Viera Da Silva Bereta, Nayara Sanchez-Mejia, Nour Belkessa and sophomores Donald Ford, Kaique De Andrade Gomes Santos, performed Frozen by Sabrina Claudio, followed by their own original Composition named Rose.  

The following Small Ensemble, made up of senior Beatriz Da Silva Salvino De Oliveira, sophomore Jacqueline Lim, junior Jasmine Tran, sophomore and Blue and Gold reporter Luella Harding, Vinicius De Vasconcellos, and junior Jamie Wu, performed Someone You Love by Lewis Capaldi. The Small Ensemble also performed their own original composition titled The Pearl.  

Sophomore Melissa Calixte performing in the Jazz Band at the Winter Instramental Concert. Photo by Brandon Wong.

The final Small Ensemble to perform was comprised of freshman Finn Sedan, junior Genesis Monegro, sophomore Joao Pedro Mendes De Paula, junior Jose Mejia-Henriquez, senior Josue Pauleus, senior Ketlyn Picinin Nunes, and freshman Tales Carneiro Passos.  The Ensemble performed their cover of Rolling In The Deep by Adele.  Following Rolling In The Deep was Ava, one of the Ensembles original compositions.  

Succeeding the Small Ensembles was the Jazz Band.  The Jazz Band began by performing their rendition of Blue Train by John Coltrane and arranged by Paul Mutha.  The song highlights the performance of the Saxophone and Trumpet section.  The song was almost like a conversation being spoken between the two sections, as one would call the other and the other would respond in kind.     

Following Blue Train, the Jazz Band performed Caribbean Christmas from Doug Beach and George Shutack. The song, Caribbean Christmas, is a jazzy melody of Christmas songs. The song begins with a strong Brass Lead with underlying notes from the woodwinds that become more apparent as the song progressed. 

Succeeding the Jazz Band was the Concert Band.  The band first played the staple country Christmas song, Blue Christmas by Elvis Presley.  Arranged by Billy Hayes, Jay W. Johnson, and Jay Dawson, Blue Christmas, has a warm Christmas melody with a strong brass performance.   

From left to right, Sophmores Sophia Kouhail and Donald Ford performing in one of the Small Ensembles at the Winter Instrumental Concert. Photo by Brandon Wong.

Next came the song Symphonic Chorales - Movements 1&3 by John Moss, followed by the final song, Carmen Christmas. Carmen Christmas, arranged by Randall D. Standridge is a mashup of common Christmas songs that starts from a somber tune and builds up to a more joyous tone until the song ends on a happy note.  

The Concert ended with the Wind Ensemble, as they played Imani by Sean O’Loughlin, Lux Aurumque by Eric Whitacre, Brazilian Bell Barol by Robert W. Smith, ending the concert with Exaltation by James Swearingen.  

For Junior Wilson Chau, practice has been “a lot of grinding on the same piece.”  Chau noted how they would play the same piece over and over again and then “critique each other on how everything can be played better.”  Mazza often critiques the intonation and rhythm of the ensemble. Mazza found that “if you breathe together, you play together”. Overall, Mazza found that “the performance went very well’, however “[they]  need to play better as an ensemble and blend together.”

The next Instrumental Concert will be happening in the spring of 2020 in the Jenkins Auditorium, but the date for the concert has yet to be decided.

Brandon Wong

Brandon Wong is a sophomore at Malden High School, and a reporter for the Blue and Gold. He joined as a freshmen and after being influenced by former reporter Abhishek Rana to cover a soccer event, his interest in photos increased. He has taken many more photos for galleries for the Blue and Gold since then. Other than that, Wong loves the show The Good Place, as well as playing the card game Vanguard. Wong is excited for his history class this year and is looking forward to his sophomore year in the Blue and Gold.

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