Springtime Tunes Return to Hampton


Photo courtesy of Ms. Carrie Burns.

Musicians from the Tri-M National Music Honor Society prepare for the spring concert.

Emily Thomas, Social Media Coordinator

As things are slowly getting back to normal, student extracurricular activities are returning to somewhat standard procedures as well. Over the past several months, students involved in NDP’s music programs have been gathering for evening rehearsals to prepare for outdoor spring concerts located under the tent. Both the musicians and the faculty have waited for this moment since last March, when adjudication and the 2020 spring concert were canceled. Similarly to past years, there will be two separate concerts: an instrumental concert on May 12 followed by a choral concert on May 18. Each student can bring a maximum of two guests; however, the concerts will be livestreamed for  viewing at home by additional family members.

The concert band has been working hard since February to prepare four pieces for the concert: “The Marches of John Williams,” “Legend of Devil’s Lake,” “Cold Mountain Saga,” and Disney-Pixar’s beloved “Up.” The pieces feature a variety of sounds, from dark, spooky tones to light, upbeat music. When first starting evening rehearsals, the band was required to split in half due to restrictions. Luckily, restrictions lifted in March and the band was able to come together to perfect the four pieces. “Playing under the tent is definitely going to be different, but I think it will be okay,” said Mr. Dzbinski, music department chair and band director. “The hardest part will be transporting the percussion instruments!” he exclaimed during class.

The jazz band, due to its smaller size, has been able to work together in person since October. The jazz band is an unique combination of students from the choir, concert band, and other musicians. The ensemble will be playing several pieces: “Hit the Road Jack,” “Final Countdown,” “Que Pasa Kielbasa?,” “Mack the Knife,” “T.M.I.,” “Poco Loco,” “Earth, Wind, & Fire Dance Mix,” and “In the Midnight Hour.” The jazz band would normally perform at the beloved school tradition of Dinner with our Elders, but they have not been able to play the past two years due to the pandemic. However, the group was able to play in the Christmas concert. Elizabeth Weir ’21 commented: “Serenity Holmes (’21) is definitely our most valuable asset. Sometimes those drumsticks fly so fast I’m afraid she’ll take off.” Mackenzie Alderson, also a senior involved in both the jazz and the concert bands, added: “I think E Szymkiewicz (’21) is a great asset. I hear that bass guitar twang and I know they’re goin’ off. When Grace Glennon (’21) does a fire solo on the keyboard, you can’t help but do a little jig!”

The string orchestra has been preparing their four pieces since September and everyone is eager to perform. The songs they are playing include “Spring” by Vivaldi, “Spirit of Adventure” from Disney-Pixar’s “Up,” “Fiddle Dance” by Percy E. Fletcher, and “Yee Haw” by Jeremy Woolstenhulme. Dr. Kuznik, director of the orchestra, enthusiastically noted, “We are very excited to be able to perform the spring concert in person. I am very grateful to all music students who despite all difficulties did an amazing job with preparation to the concert. We are looking forward to a very exciting program!”

The chamber choir, made up of NDP’s most talented singers, has been rehearsing in the evenings since September. Recent chorus classes have included the long trek up the hill to the newly purchased church on Providence Road. The choral concert includes a gospel-esque song titled “Still I Rise,” as well as “Even when He is Silent,” whose lyrics originated from a poem written during the Holocaust. Additionally, the chorus will be singing a medley of “You’ll Climb Every Mountain,” “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” and several other exciting pieces. E Szymkiewicz, involved in both the chamber choir and jazz band, commented: “It’s been interesting preparing for a concert during the pandemic. Practices for both band and choir require a different set up than everyone is used to, so at first things were a bit difficult, but by now we are all used to it.”

Overall, the students and faculty are glad that the hallways — and soon the tent — are filled once again with the wonderful melodies of the music department. For the seniors, this concert is a bittersweet moment, but one that will surely stick with us as we head off to college.