Holiday Strings Concert, a Prelude to Christmas Season

High School musicians perform for Temple City on Tuesday evening in the gym.

Written by CHRIS DU / Published December 4, 2009

Temple City High School (TCHS) students gathered for a musical prelude to Christmas on Tuesday evening.

The annual Holidays Strings Concert took place inside the Beckner gym. The high school’s three orchestras—beginning, advanced and honors—and the wind ensemble performed.

The Advanced Orchestra opened with Three King Strut, a Christmas jam mixed with rock beats. Led by TCHS musical director Bert Ferntheil, the group also played Irish Yuletide, which showcased fiddle tunes and a rendition of the popular The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.

TCHS sophomores, junior and seniors compose of this group.

The Beginning Orchestra followed with Scenes from the Wizard of Oz, Idylls of Pegasus, and A Classical Merry Christmas.

These musicians, all freshmen, received prior tutelage upon joining the orchestra. They were led by high school and middle school music teacher Phil Bailey.

Honors Orchestra concluded the holiday concert with four pieces.

Mozart’s Allegro Vivace and Lakme – The Flower Duet provided a peaceful and steady beginning.

Alberto Ginestera’s fast-paced Danza Final showcased concert master Chris Li as conductor and co-concert master Tiffany Wang as the pianist.

In Christmas-Rock Wizards in Winter, Ferntheil led the orchestra group on drums as it played without a conductor.

“Soon, I’ll be out of a job,” he joked, before finishing with Christmas at the Movies.

TCHS students prepare months in advance, practicing everyday in group rehearsal, sectionals and guest teaching sessions. Musicians, like those from the Los Angeles Philharmonic, have also guest-coached the orchestras.

The Holiday Springs Concert precedes the San Gabriel Civic Auditorium’s Holiday Concert, which will showcase musical segments from the Brighterside singers, band, honors orchestra, Mike Tomasulo singers and high school choir and dance groups.

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