Student Orchestras Perform Spooktacularly
Ensnaring the audience with suspenseful and tense music that seemed to belong in a horror movie. That seemed to be the goal of the orchestras performing in the annual Strings Spooktacular concert on Oct. 25.
This is the eleventh year of the popular concert, with performances from both the high school and eighth grade orchestras. Performers were dressed in a wide variety of costumes ranging from an endearing squid to a convincing Sasquatch.
The concert was widely anticipated by the high school orchestra, where it is “a favorite for many of them,” according to Orchestra Director Ms. Crystal Sabik.
“I love this concert. You get to dress up and the music just fits the mood,” said Tommy Gress, a junior who plays viola.
Junior Rhi Phillips said students had been “working really hard” and were “excited to play with the eighth graders.”
The eighth-grade orchestra opened the event with a rendition of “March of the Shadows” by Brian Balmages, a piece filled with “unexpected harmonies and rhythmic twists,” according to Troy Russell, assistant principal at Alliance Middle School and one of the announcers for the concert.
The middle school performers continued with “Creatures” by Balmages, a unique song that combines the sounds of the instruments with the rhythmical beats of stomping feet.
The high school orchestra was then handed the spotlight, beginning with a song inspired by an abandoned amusement park in New Orleans titled “Ghost Carnival” by Erik Morales.
Next was “Dies Irae: Fantasia” by Deborah Baker Monday, an adapted hymn from the 13th century that means “Day of Wrath.”
Gress claimed “Dies Irae: Fantasia” was his favorite piece, saying: “I really liked the melodies, and the harmonies were really pretty.”
That was followed by “Two Scenes from the Hollow” by Kirt Mosier, a two-part piece based on “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”
The high school orchestra was then joined by the eighth graders to play the final song of the evening, “Sneaking Suspicion” by Doug Spata, a playful piece characterized by a “cartoon pick-pluck” style, said Russell.
As the piece was performed, members of the seventh-grade orchestra walked among the audience, handing out candy.