The WHS Music Department Lifts Spirits with Carolling and Concerts

Juliet Watstein, Editor in Chief

Throughout the month of December, the halls of Wantagh High School were filled with holiday cheer. This month is the busiest for the music department. During this season, there are numerous winter concerts that are held in the auditorium at WHS. Tri-M students volunteer to help the night run smoothly at each concert; without them…it wouldn’t be the same. 

Wantagh’s acapella group and orchestra’s chamber visited Wantagh Public Library to sing for Wantagh’s retired teachers on December 2. Additionally, the Tri-M Honor Society held a coffee house event in room 119 on December 6. Students performed for Tri-M points, while engaging in board games, enjoying delicious treats, and soft conversion. Following these music filled events, the high school Orchestra and Choral groups had their winter concert, which was conducted by Mrs. Langer and Mrs. Cassidy. The night ended with the annual finale of Hallelujah. Many alumni stepped in to sing, as well as Assistant Principal, Mr. Brown. It was a spectacular night; full of musicality and holiday spirit. 

The Tri-M Honor Society caroled at Broadway Mall to raise money for the Salvation Army. Students in band, orchestra, and chorus performed for 20 minute intervals to spread their holiday cheer.  And the choral ensemble caroled through the halls of Mandalay Elementary, Wantagh El, and Forest Lake. Ranging from Kindergarten to 5th grade, the little kids clapped and cheered as the group went by. “Just seeing their smiling faces was enough to make my heart melt,” says junior Ellie Breen. 

“I can’t believe this is my last year caroling at the elementary schools, it’s something I will always be grateful for when I look back at my high school experience,” says senior Kyra Orgass. 

The band, directed by Mr. Aviles, performed at their winter concert, December 19.  Mr. Aviles teamed up with Mr. Hunter and his graphic design class to create a slideshow of artwork to be displayed while the band played the song, A Passing Fantasy. Junior Dominick Rossi is a student in Mr. Hunter’s class who discussed the artistic aspect of their project.

“I thought it was a great way to collaborate both music and art at Wantagh High School and I would definitely like to do it again in the future,” Rossi said. 

Overall, this special piece was about near death experiences and its everlasting effects. Senior Katie Frazer, who plays the bass clarinet in the Wind Ensemble, says, “A Passing Fantasy was one of the first extremely serious pieces we’ve done. We normally play light hearted and upbeat pieces, but this one was dark and filled with anguish. The piece itself was easy in composition, however the way we had to perform it was what we needed to rehearse the most.” 

At the concert, Choral Ensemble joined in on their last song, Palimpsest. We flooded through the isles and sang as the band played softly in front of us. “It was really cool how there were band students playing all the way in the back as well. It was like a 360 effect in the sound of music.” says junior Chris Murale. 

To end the wintry month, Choral Ensemble caroled through the halls to spread some joy before students were let out for the early dismissal to start their holiday break.

The best part of the entire month, was the fact that I was able to take part in all that occurred. The past four years in Concert Choir and Choral Ensemble will forever hold a special place in my heart and I hope to further my musicality in college. The music department has always been so encouraging, supportive, and full of joy year round. However, December has consistently been my favorite month because of the plentiful opportunities that Wantagh offers.