Cavalcade of Choruses Marks
'Music in our Schools' Month
The melodic voices of student-musicians in grades 5-12 filled the Oyster Bay High School auditorium when they took the stage for the Cavalcade of Choruses, March 1. The event, held every other year, alternating with the Cavalcade of Bands, celebrates Music in our Schools month. This year’s performance garnered a standing ovation from the audience and ended with a moving finale of We are the World 25 for Haiti, a recut of the original We Are the World recorded for USA for Africa to benefit famine relief in Africa.
The concert showcases the solid foundation students receive in music at the elementary level, and how the music selections progress in depth and complexity as they advance in grade level, moving from two- to three-part harmony, for instance.
The event opened with the Vernon School 5th and 6th Grade Chorus, under the direction of Mr. Louis Costidis, which performed Alexander’s Ragtime Band and Oh Shenandoah. They were followed by the 7th and 8th Grade Chorus, which was well prepared by Ms. Melissa Kozee and conducted by Mr. Evan Feist, delighting the audience with the contemporary pieces, Better Place and Lean on Me.
Expanding on the contemporary theme was the Oyster Bay High School Concert Choir, under the baton of Ms. Meagan Finnerty, which brought the audience on a journey to another continent by opening their first song, Africa, with a series of snaps, claps, stomps and hand rubbing to create the noises found in the jungle. The choral group also sang a soulful rendition of John Lennon’s Imagine.
Bringing the audience to its feet with thunderous applause was the Oyster Bay High School Chamber Singers, also under Ms. Meagan Finnerty’s direction, which brilliantly executed Bohemian Rhapsody, originally recorded by the rock group, Queen. The dynamic piece is famous for its various melodic sections, including a ballad, an operatic passage, a hard rock section and a reflective finale. The singers opened with another popular song, Some Nights, by Fun.
For the finale, all of the musical groups joined the stage for an uplifting rendition of We are the World 25 for Haiti, led by guest conductors, Oyster Bay High School Principal Ms. Sharon Lasher and James H. Vernon School Principal Dr. Valerie Vacchio.
“The Cavalcade of Choruses underpins our mission to provide a rigorous and meaningful music education to all students,” said Fine and Performing Arts Supervisor Mr. Peter Rufa, who hosted the evening, “A student of music is disciplined, tenacious, expressive, and collaborative. It is with these skills and insights that the students of Oyster Bay will become the innovative leaders of the 21st Century, capable of effecting change in a global community.”
The James H. Vernon School 5th and 6th Grade Chorus opens the concert.
The Oyster Bay High School 7th and 8th Grade Chorus claps to Lean on Me.
The Oyster Bay High School Concert Choir takes the stage.
The Oyster Bay High School Chamber Singers receive a standing ovation.
The choral groups come together for a moving finale.
Special thanks go out to the Board of Education, the District’s music staff and support staff, the custodial staff, the Theater Arts Club and the Friends of the Performing Arts Center (PAC) for making the Cavalcade of Choruses a success.