Choir students sing at annual winter concert (video)


Combined choir sings a piece at the annual Winter Choir Concert. Credit: Ellis Becker/Chronicle

Ellis Becker

Choir students performed at the Winter Choral Concert Saturday evening at the First Presbyterian Church in Santa Monica, with the theme, “Sing of Peace: Sing for Joy.”

The concert showcased the Upper School choirs, Bel Canto, Chamber Singers, Jazz Singers, Wolverine Chorus and Combined Choir, and each sang multiple songs for the performance.

“We have been learning our songs since September and we have put a lot of effort [into the concert] and are so proud of what we have accomplished,” Men’s Choir student Harry Garvey ’18 said. “The weekend rehearsals were killer, but they definitely helped us all work together.”

The show began and ended with performances from the Combined Choir group. The first song performed by them was “Sim Shalom,” arranged by Mark Brymer, and meaning “Great Peace” in Hebrew. The group ended the performance with pieces including “Cartoon Christmas,” arranged by Andy Beck, and Rick and Sylvia Powell’s “Peace, Peace.”

The Wolverine Chorus choir sang four pieces, including David Eddleman’s “Bidi Bom,” and Jay Althouse’s “Star of Glory.”

Bel Canto performed five songs, including “Ma’oz Tzur,”arranged by Jody Noblett, and meaning “Stronghold of Rock,” in Hebrew. They also sang Bach’s “Zion Hört die Wächter Singen,” meaning “Zion Hears the Watchmen Singing,” in German. The group finished their performance with Julie Andrew’s “My Favorite Things.”

Jazz Singers performed pieces such as Leroy Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride,” Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas,” and Johnny Mathis’s “Winter Wonderland.”

Chamber Singers sang six songs following a brief intermission after the Jazz Singers performance. The group sang songs including Johny Paynter’s “The Rose,” Paul Laubengayer’s “Angels We Have Heard on High,” and “I Wonder as I Wander,” arranged by choir teacher Rodger Guerrero.

“I cannot recall a finer Winter Choral Concert in my 15 years at Harvard-Westlake,” Guerrero said in an email. “Every choir performed up to its potential, and the joy expressed by all of the singers simply mesmerized the audience. I am the proudest and luckiest teacher on the planet.”

Combined Choir: Winter Choral Concert video by Ellis Becker/Chronicle