By Frank Fernandez
Through the efforts of students, teachers and musicians alike, the Secondary Christmas Concert was a huge success. Parents, teachers and family all gathered on December 2 at 7:30 P.M. in the Smithtown Gospel Tabernacle Sanctuary for the performances.
The concert started out with the Middle School Promise Singers lead by Mrs. Robin McCourt with a performance from Timothy Competello, Jaden Kealey, and Ayton Henreiques in the song “A Cold in My Nose” with a resounding chorus of sneezes, coughs and sniffles. After this song was “Who Would Send a Baby,” a beautiful song about Jesus being sent to redeem the world.
Next up was a performance by Joyful Noise, the high school band, lead by Mr. Boris Salgado. With the combination of flutes and saxophones, horns and trumpets, trombones and percussions, the band played a beautiful set of four different songs: “Sleigh Ride,” “Greensleeves,” “O’ Little Town of Bethlehem” and “Christmas on the Town Square” a medley of Good King Wencelas, Angels We Have Heard on High, and God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. After that was the Tri M Vocal Ensemble. Tri M is a musical honor society used to recognized musical ability as well as service and academic achievement. The honor students preformed a special rendition of “Silent Night.”
During the intermission, four musicians from Heart Strings played while audience members viewed artwork in the Narthex. These musicians were Tim Smith, junior violinist, Peter Hahm, junior cellist, Daniel Hwang, junior violinist and David Hwang, sophomore violinist. Playing on the balcony in the Narthex, they serenaded the audience members as they viewed art from the students on display. Together they played “Oh Come All Ye Faithful,” “My Favorite Things” and “A Sweet Petite Winter Suite.”
Following the intermission, the Promise Singers took the stage. Led by Mrs. McCourt, they sung four songs together. The first two, “A Merry Christmas Madrigal” and “Oh Come, Oh Come Emmanuel” were accompanied by Anna Casmass on the flute and the second two, “Candy Cane Lane” and “A Gentle Alleluia” by Peter Hahm on cello. “A Gentle Alleluia” was a blend of orchestration and vocalization with the singers performing in the part of a string section in an orchestra. After these songs, the Middle School Promise Singers joined them on stage and together they performed two more songs while accompanied by Jordan Sanchez on Violin and Andrea Jeon on piano. These songs were “Jingle Bell Dash” and “The Little Drummer Boy.”
Last but certainly not least were the Heart Strings, the high school orchestra led by Mrs. Eve Troiano. They played a very soothing mix of songs starting with the “Sweet Petite Winter Suite,” a combination of four movements each named after a seasonal food: Candy Canes, Hot Chocolate, Peppermint Bark, and Gingerbread Man. The next songs were “Christmas Time is Here,” “My Favorite Things,” and “O Come, All Ye Faithful.” The Heart Strings were joined by former student Chris Olynik on bass. Currently a music major at Queens College, Chris graduated last year and was excited to join the orchestra again.
The night concluded with Francois Saint Cyr reading the true meaning of Christmas for all, Luke 2: 8-14. The night was a huge success and everybody is looking forward expectantly toward the next one.