Student Talent at High School Winter Concert

On February 7, students in grades 9–12 had the opportunity to show off their collective talents at their Winter Performing Arts Concert. An ambitious schedule of performances featured five student groups and one individual act, and the entertainment ranged from jazz, spirituals, and ballet music, to hip-hop dance and African drumming.

Ross School’s Jazz Band opened the concert with a selection of standards orchestrated by the late jazz great and Ross teacher Hal McKusick. Senior Sofia Kriger accompanied the band with smoky vocals on “Mood Indigo” and “For All We Know.” Next up was “A Child Is Born.” And the group concluded with a Miles Davis chart titled “Freddie Freeloader,” which showcased many of the band members performing improvised solos.

Gaby Ment was next to take the stage (and take to the air) as she dangled above the floor of the Court Theater doing a routine on her lyra, a suspended hoop used in circus acts. Gaby created the routine as part of her Senior Project, and the concert gave her a chance to perform for those who hadn’t yet witnessed her stunning aerial acrobatics.

The Chamber Ensemble band went international with their playlist, which included “Danses des petit cygnes” by Tchaikovsky; “Londonderry Air,” a traditional Irish melody; “Solace: A Mexican Serenade”; and “Eye of the Tiger,” from Rocky III. Next, the Chorus performed “Gabriel’s Oboe,” a spiritual titled “I Hear a Voice A-Prayin’,” and “What I Did for Love” from Marvin Hamlisch’s A Chorus Line.

An enthusiastic phalanx of dancers treated the audience to a series of modern hip-hop dance moves. The students choreographed the routines themselves and worked together to express themselves to music from a number of artists including LL Cool J, Young-N-Fabulous, Ke$ha, and Missy Elliot. And finally, students from the African Drumming elective brought the concert home with rousing renditions of “R.A.D. Medley,” “Kpanlogo,” and “Chicago Popcorn.”