On January 16, Greylock musicians convened for the annual high school winter concert. Inside the cafeteria were rows upon rows of chairs, all facing the “stage” which was the cafeteria floor. It was packed, and empty seats were scarce. As the new auditorium is still being built, the high school band and orchestra concert had to be held in the (slightly) small cafeteria. Despite the unorthodox setting, the concert was a great success.
The high school band went first, playing “Folk Dances” by Shostakovich, a transcription of its original orchestral form. They also played “On The Mall” by Edwin Franko Goldman, a famous march from early in the 1900s, and then finished with a medley of George Gershwin tunes. The high school band consists of 47 students, with a wide variety of instruments. When asked what it was like for the band to perform in the cafeteria, Lyndon Moores said, “It’s much better than I expected; although, some of the ceiling is low, and some of the ceiling is high.”
The orchestra ended the evening with two pieces. One, “Rites of Tamburo,” is a contemporary piece written in 1999 by Robert W. Smith. They also played “O Waly Waly,” also known as “The Water is Wide.” At one point in “Rites of Tamburo,” some of the musicians made hissing noises with their mouths, adding a surprising yet pleasant aspect to the concert. When Victoria Melkonyan, the pianist, was asked about the concert, she noted that “the concert was really fun – it’s always fun to come together with all the other musicians at Greylock to share something with an audience, and the sense of accomplishment is always something to look forward to. The pieces the orchestra played this time were really fun, and I loved my parts.”
Although the setting wasn’t Chapin Hall or the auditorium, the sound was still lovely and the performance impressive. As Lyndon Moores said, “We’re right at ground level with the audience and some of them were only about five feet from those performers, so it’s kind of an intimate experience for everyone.” If all goes well the spring concert will be held in the new auditorium, but it’s good to know that the cafeteria will always be there as a nice place to perform.