Small Ensembles Put on a Powerful Show

This Wednesday, our musicians took to the Victoria Conservatory stage for the annual Small Ensembles concert, one of the highlights of the school year and the holiday season. Yet again, SMUS students showed the range of their vocal and instrumental talents, playing an impressive array of classic pieces and new medleys.

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The Chamber Choir was the first to perform, beginning with a segment of “Mass in G Minor,” a choral piece from the 1920s. The vocalists then transitioned into a lively rendition of familiar tune “The Teddy Bear’s Picnic” followed by “Laudate Dominum,” played with a samba beat to a tune from Brazil. For the first time, a student played the role of conductor, as Grade 10 student Brandon Chow led his peers in a performance of his own arrangement of “Jerusalem.”

“Silent Night/Peace” began the Vocal Jazz Ensemble’s performance, followed by an outstanding performance of “Fly Me to the Moon,” made famous by Frank Sinatra. The combination of two songs, “How Do You Keep the Music Playing” and “My Funny Valentine” featured some impressive scatting and stellar instrumentals. Bob Marley’s “Three Little Birds” ended the set on a figurative and literal high note.

The Jazz Band performed in both large and small versions. One group of four played “Omar” on two guitars, a trumpet and a trombone, while another small ensemble performed the 1970s jazz tune “Straight Life” by Freddie Hubbard. The entire group came together for tunes “El Bandito,” the jazz standard “Song for my Father,” and jazz fusion piece “Birdland.”

A few songs featured in film made their way into the Swing Band’s set, including opening numbers “Time after Time” and “The Sounds of Silence.” The romantic 1913 tune “You Made Me Love You” was followed by a new version of “Hello My Baby,” set to a salsa rhythm. To send the audience on their way in the spirit of the season, the performers capped off the concert with “Dashing Through the Snow.”

Audio recording of the concert are available on SMUSTube.

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