Choir Winter Concert ‘sings’ in the holiday season

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Molly Donaldson

The Highlanders and Women's Choir stand poised on stage waiting for their next song to begin. “Performing gives students the confidence to believe in themselves," Emily Mannion, a freshman, said.

Molly Donaldson, Staff Writer

Carolers decked the halls of Carlmont during Friday night’s annual Winter Concert. Over 100 choir students climbed the poinsettia-lined risers on the stage of the Performing Arts Center to ring in the holidays during an evening of beautiful harmonies and festive favorites.

The performers had been practicing for weeks and were glad for the chance to sing in front of an audience.

“This is my first concert,” said Mark Castro, a sophomore and member of Chamber Singers. “I’m excited because we’ve been working really hard on our pieces and it’s fun to share that with other people.” 

Audience members enjoyed the concert and the powerful experience it provided.  They nodded along to pop classics and listened appreciatively to melodic chorales. And because live shows always have a few hiccups, the performers were  grateful for the audience’s enthusiasm.

“I think it went really well – the crowd seemed to like it,” Castro said. “There were some spots where we could have been better, but it happens. It’s a live performance you can’t expect anything.”

Alisilani Alusa, a senior in the Treble Clef choir, agreed.

“We definitely got nervous and could have done better, but I feel like we did well considering it was our first concert of the year,” Alusa said.

Each choir performed their specialty songs, including “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by the Women’s Choir and Highlanders and “Lake Isle” by the Chamber Singers. But at the end of the night, all of the choirs took to the stage together to sing a powerful rendition of “I Gondolieri” as well as a few variations of the classic “Jingle Bells.”

“My favorite part of the choir concert was definitely when all of the choirs came together on stage to form Singing Scots,” Emily Mannion, a freshman, said. “When all of the choir students are combined, the diversity and complexity of the program is shown at full force.”

Concerts are an important opportunity for students to express themselves and their artistic abilities.  They also offer the change to develop important everyday skills, such as confidence and poise. 

“Performing gives students the confidence to believe in themselves,” Mannion said. “Going out in front of people and showcasing something you love can be very nerve-wracking, but it’s good to learn the skill in order to conquer the same nerves later in life.” 

By the end of the concert, everyone felt the holiday season.  The final song was the traditional “Carol of the Bells,” when Choir Director Genevieve Tep invited Carmont alumni to come out of the audience and sing on stage.  It was a bittersweet moment for outgoing seniors when they reunited with old friends.