With the last few days of Chamblee Charter High School’s centennial year fast approaching, the fine arts department is looking to go out with a bang. That bang is the annual Winter Concert.
“What’s really special about the Winter Concert this year is that we are combining the band, orchestra, and chorus,” said Earl Kuutti, director of Chamblee’s orchestra groups.
On Thursday, December 14th, the three groups will perform holiday-themed music for what Kuutti and band director Colleen Marin hope will be a full auditorium.
“A packed house is awesome to play for,” said Marin. “It has a completely different atmosphere to it.”
Another fun aspect is that the musical theater class at Chamblee will be performing in the hallway outside the auditorium prior to the concert.
Because of all the different groups performing on this night, Marin says that the event will not only bring in parents of all the kids, but also teachers, administrators, and friends.
“I find that this kind of concert is such a community concert,” said Marin. “It’s one of the few that we do as a high school music department that is truly approachable by everyone.”
Kuutti is looking forward to giving his students an opportunity to perform for people other than just their parents.
“I really like that they’re going to have a unique and different audience,” said Kuutti.
Another great thing about the concert, according to both the music directors and students, is that the students get the chance to connect with other students who specialize in various areas of music.
“You get [to hear] the sound of the wind instruments and the sound of the string instruments,” said sophomore Brendan Bassett.
Junior Camille Becker enjoys hearing the two groups combine their sounds and is excited about playing in a setting that’s out of the ordinary.
“I like that we get the variety, said Becker. “We’re not just hearing the same instruments that we’ve been hearing for the past seven years.”
Hearing only band or only string instruments can actually be detrimental to students.
“Especially band people tend to get really stuck in the band world,” said Marin. “It’s so easy to just do band, but that’s not all there is to wind playing.”
It is important to play in a full orchestra (with wind and string instruments) in order to know if you want to continue with music in the future.
“If you don’t ever get to experience that [playing in a full orchestra], you’re essentially making a decision on whether or not to continue with music without all of the information,” said Marin.
Organizing this concert has been no small feat. Both the students and directors have worked hard to pull it all together. One difficulty is that the first rehearsal with all three groups happened only a few days before the concert.
“I think it’s complicated to put all three groups together when we haven’t rehearsed together all that much,” said junior Isabel Bradford, who is in the chorus. “We learned the songs separately, and now we have to put them together.”
Another problem that has been encountered is space.
“We need a bigger auditorium,” said Kuutti.
Since the musical was postponed, all of the props and set pieces are still on the stage in addition to the students from all three ensembles.
“The stage is tight,” said senior Emma Axelson. “We have to fit over 150 people so there’s no empty space. Setting the stage, especially with the musical set on stage, was also a lot of work.”
Although the coordinators of this concert have run into difficulties, it is the belief of the directors and students that the concert will be a success.
“I know that everybody sorta freaks out about it, but we always pull it together,” said Natalia Carlson. “I think it’s going to be great.”