On Wednesday, December 13, 2017, the GGHS Music department organized its annual winter instrumental concert “Feliz Navidad.” Directed by Mr. Winchell, the music departments, String Orchestra, Concert and Symphonic Bands, Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, and even Combined Choirs took the stage to perform a magical night of beloved holiday songs.
The night began with String Orchestra’s performance of “Dreidl Adventure” by S’von, a Jewish piece. Despite the theme of the night being “Feliz Navidad”, meaning Merry Christmas, Mr.Winchell wanted to “celebrate the diversity in our community, especially in the school.” During his introduction, he explains how Garden Grove has grown into a diverse city, and he wanted to try and include everyone into the fun.
To add more to the fun, they also performed “Somewhere in my Memory,” a piece from the classic movie Home Alone.
After String Orchestra finished, Concert and Symphonic Bands followed after, performing fun and iconic classics, such as “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson, “Candlelight Carol” by John Rutter, and “Feliz Navidad” by Jose Feliciano. Creating a cheerful atmosphere, Concert and Symphonic bands performed songs full of energy. Feliz Navidad was the highlight of their performance, which had the entire audience clapping and singing along. Minh-Thi Le (12) states, “This last winter concert of my highschool years was very endearing and memorable. It’s been quite a journey being in this program and I’m glad to have played the instruments I love in it one last time.”
The concert took a brief intermission to allow members to prep for the upcoming performances and let parents buy raffle tickets for $1. From the raffle tickets alone, the concert raised an impressive $252, half of which was given to the winner of the raffle.
The show resumed with Chamber Orchestra, accompanied by Choir for two songs, “Dies Irah” by W.A Mozart, and “Hallelujah Chorus” by G.F Handel, arr. Winchell. Daisy Nguyen (10), part of chamber orchestra, says that “compared to playing with just orchestra alone, choir definitely empowered chamber and passed their confidence down to us in order to execute the pieces Dies Irae and Hallelujah Chorus with more boldness and power.” She hopes to have more opportunities to work with choir in the future. After choir left the stage, chamber or
chestra performed two more songs, “We Three Kings” by J.H. Hopkins, arr. O’Laughlin, and “I’ll be Bach for Christmas”, by J.S Bach/Various, arr. Hopkins. “I’ll be Back for Christmas” was composed of many different songs, including “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”, “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen”, “Deck The Halls”, “We Three Kings”, “Bring a Torch, Jeanette, Isabella”, “We Wish you a Merry Christmas”, “Concerto for 2 Violins”, and “Brandenburg Concertos 2,3,6”.
The night ended with Symphony Orchestra, playing “O Holy Night”, by Adolphe Charles Adam, an old yet classic song. The GGHS music department had an amazing show that night, leaving the audience with nothing but applause. Thanh Pham (9), states, “I’m glad to be a part of band and got to take part in the concert.” Everyone from band is looking forward to their next concert, and they hope to see all of you there!