Those who sat in the Lower Moreland High School auditorium on May 2, experienced an evening of remarkable talent, music, entertainment and high emotions as nearly 300 students performed in the annual Spring Concert.
The concert, which began at 7 p.m., featured several performances of the high school’s various music programs:
- Wind Ensemble, directed by Erin Stroup and Dr. Peter Boonshaft
- Honor Choir, directed by Chelsea Dehner
- String Orchestra, directed by Sarah Gulish
- Jazz Ensembe, directed by Erin Stroup
- Concert Choir, directed by Chelsea Dehner
- Symphonic Band, directed by Erin Stroup and Dr. Peter Bonshaft
All student performances received enthusiastic applause from audience members who nearly packed auditorium. Each group of students musicians provided highlights with their performances.
Such highlights included solo performances, such as Caroline Garlick’s solo during the String Orchestra’s performance of “Spring,” from “The Four Seasons” by Antonio Vivaldi; to the clever walking performance of the Concert Choir as they entered the spotlight and their then-and-now photo tribute to departing senior members, during their performance of ”Hold Me, Rock Me” by Tate.
The event also featured a spirited guest conductor for the school’s Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band, 2007 Lower Moreland School District Hall of Fame inductee Dr. Peter Boonshaft.
“It was wonderful working with Lower Moreland High School District,” Boonshaft said after the concert. “Their work ethic was excellent.”
Boonshaft, a professor of music at Hofstra Universtiy, located in Hempstead, New York; said that he was looking forward to working with the students of Lower Moreland High School ever since he was asked to rehearse with them the day he was inducted to the hall of fame.
Erin Stroup, Lower Moreland School District Music Department’s Lead Teacher, also conducted the Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band.
During the Jazz Ensemble performance, Stroup took the opportunity to announce that the ensemble had visited Savannah, GA, in March for the Swing Central Jazz Festival.
There, Stroup explained, the LMHS Jazz Ensemble joined 11 other student Jazz ensembles in a weeklong clinic and workshops with some of the greatest Jazz musicians today.
According to Stroup, the LMHS Jazz Ensemble had to submit an audition tape in order to be invited to the festival. He added that the other attending student ensembles were from much larger or private schools from across the nation.
By the end of the week, the LMHS Jazz Ensemble participated in the festival’s competition, and placed within the top five ensembles.
According to Stroud, students of the Wind Ensemble, Honor Choir, Jazz Ensemble and Symphonic Band will be departing at the end of May for Disney World. There, the students will perform for visitors in the downtown Disney, as well as participate in a clinic, where the student will create a recording for an original Disney animation.
Stroud said that the students will be able to take home a DVD of the full production of the animation.
In an emotional display, LMHS seniors and Symphonic Band co-presidents Maddie Ridgeway and Caitlin Osborn expressed deep gratitude for the musical guidance and encouragement Stroup had given them and their fellow music students since they were freshman.
“A thousand “Thank You’s” would not be enough to thank him for what he’s done for me and the program here,” Osborn said.
After the concert, Stroup explained that much success of the district’s music programs goes to this year’s departing seniors.
“I’ve spent a quarter of my career with them,” Stroup, who started in the district in 1998, said. “They’re tremendous.”
“The kids all love Mr. Stroup,” Louise Metz, who was sitting with her husband John, said prior to the concert.
Metz, whose daughter graduated LMHS last year and sang in choir, said her son, Zach, has been looking forward to performing in the LMHS Symphonic Band.
Zach, a freshman, has performed in the district’s music programs since he was in the third grade. He performed in percussion for the Symphonic Band during the concert, and was proud to be able to continue his musical education.
“Being in band, I can just play instruments every day in school,” Zach said.