Hundreds gathered at Temple City High School’s holiday concert on Tuesday evening, November 27, 2007 to celebrate the joy of Christmas- by listening. And as the three orchestras played, onlookers stared, cheered, and absorbed some of that good ol’ Christmas spirit.
The Temple City orchestras are divided into three sections: Beginning, Advanced, and Honors. The Beginning Orchestra consists of incoming freshmen, who await placement in the Advanced Orchestra or by testing for a seat in the Honors Orchestra.
The Beginning Orchestra gently began the performance with “Creepy Classics”, a festive piece reminiscent of Saint-Saen’s Danse Macabre and other famous pieces. A rendition of “The Patriot” softly moved the audience with warm chords and deep lulls.
And now the winter party begins: the Advanced Orchestra follows, inciting Christmas spirit with airy “Silver Bells” and festive “A Latin Christmas”. The playing of the Sound of Music’s “My Favorite Things” made snowflakes and blue satin sashes appear as onlookers mouthed the lyrics in tandem with the familiar tune.
When the songs finally echoed out into silence, the Honors Orchestra replaced the Advanced Orchestra by filling up half of the previously-full two hundred seats. Jolly tunes, such as “Mister Santa”, and jazz (Home for the Holidays) mingled to liven up the auditorium. “The First Noel” invoked tears from the audience with its ancestral feel and chilling violin solo.
Finally, George Gershwin’s piano concerto Rhapsody in Blue, arranged by Temple City High School Junior Daniel Gee, sang out its score with piano soloist Jack Zeng flying over a grand piano.
With a final blast from the orchestra, the concert ended, helping “our community bond in what we can all relate to- music,” says orchestra member Catherine Wong.
This article was written by Randy Shun. It was published in the Temple City Voice on December 12, 2007.