Chamber concert impresses music community

Jess Larsen and the Chamber Strings perform with the women of the Chorale and Bella Voce.

By Laura Drinan
Hometown Weekly Reporter

After hours and hours of instruction and rehearsal, Needham High School singers and instrumentalists performed for family and friends at their chamber concert. With a theme of “Music of the Spheres,” concertgoers were treated with a selection of songs and numbers performed by the chamber strings and chorus groups.

“All of these songs from the choral portion of tonight’s performance are inspired by the world around us and the heavens above us, the stars in the sky and the earth that we live in,” said Jonathan VanderWoude, the director of choirs and strings. “[The concert] takes us on a journey through a variety of poems that stress thoughts and emotions through the lens of this world that we live in.”

Beginning the concert was Jess Larsen with an impressive performance of “Schubert Sonata in B flat” on the piano. The Needham High senior showed an intense passion for music and piano as his skills were showcased during the solo performance.

Throughout the performance, Jess’ peers in the audience uttered compliments and noted how amazing the piece sounded. As the singers and musicians in the audience applauded and cheered wildly for Jess, the rest of the audience knew the concert would deliver some of the best music from Needham High’s finest.

Following Jess’s performance were the talented chamber strings performing Joseph Haydn’s “Opus 74 No. 2,” featuring Gabrielle Albrecht and Iris Li playing violins, Ethan Cattanach on viola, and Benjamin Glanz on cello.

A group of Needham High’s freshman female singers, called Bella Voce, performed David Childs’ “Life’s Loveliness,” which highlighted the harmonious voices of the first-year girls. Chorus students also performed, with a mixture of male and female voices singing “You Are The New Day” and “Stars I Shall Find.” Needham High’s chorale sang “My Spirit Sang All Day” and “Shenandoah” together before the male singers performed an Irish folk song about seaweed, “Dúlamán.”

To bring the performance all together, Jess, the strings, and the singers joined together to perform “Tundra” and “The Ground,” which brought tears to some of the audience members’ eyes as they applauded for their town’s most musically talented high school students.

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