Students return to live performance in Fall Preview Concert

BHS+Senior+Choir.+Courtesy%3A+Billy+Ray+Poli

BHS Senior Choir. Courtesy: Billy Ray Poli

Clio Burns

On October 28, dtBHS opened its doors to the public for the school’s Fall Preview Concert. BHS’s band, orchestra, and choir each performed pieces, which the Register livestreamed on Facebook. For BHS music students, this marked the first time in over a year that they had been able to perform for a live audience.

“[The students] were all very excited to come back and play, and I feel like that enthusiasm showed in the concert as well,” Clayton Hamilton, the band director at BHS, said. “They performed tremendously well. I’m very happy with them.”

Alongside their usual responsibility of preparing repertoire, this year the music teachers were also faced with an entirely new task: finding the space for a live concert. In previous years, all three groups performed in the BHS auditorium in front of the same audience. This year, the band, choir, and orchestra each performed in different locations at dtBHS. Family members were asked to leave after watching their students perform in order to comply with Covid regulations.

“The hard part was envisioning how we were going to be able to fit into downtown BHS.” Kathleen Kono, the orchestral conductor, said. “How we were going to crowd control and be safe with the crowd.”

The set-up for the concert was also more difficult than usual. Chairs and risers could no longer be left out after dress rehearsals because, unlike when the concert was conducted in the old auditorium, classes occurred in the new performance areas at dtBHS. 

“With this particular concert, we needed to be able to not only set up and take down during the 8:00 to 8:45 am time period for dress rehearsals,” Billy Ray Poli, the BHS choir conductor, said. “But also, I just set up after school yesterday at 3:15 for the entire concert.”

It just felt good to stand up and perform in front of a crowd.”

— Oliver Oski

 

Despite the smaller audience per performance, students and staff alike expressed gratitude for the chance to perform in front of others. 

“The kids were amazing,” Kono said. “They were so eager to do a concert for people.”

Oliver Oski ‘22 affirmed Kono’s statement. 

“It was really fun,” Oski said. “It just felt good to stand up and perform in front of a crowd.” 

The event was designed to remind community members and families of the importance of music.  

“We truly wanted to give [this concert] back to the community, and we did this for the students and the community more than we did it for ourselves,” Poli said. “We feel like [live performances] are such great opportunities for people to come together and remember that music can overcome anything.”

The Fall Preview Concert can be viewed on the BHS Register’s Facebook Page.