One of the most memorable aspects of the holidays is the music of the season. Christmas hymnals, secular songs, and jingling sleigh bells are definitely an integral part of the most wonderful time of the year. This season, Andrean’s band, directed by Mr. David Little, and choir, directed by Mrs. Deborah Price, came together to provide a variety of festive holiday music. “I thought [the concert] went really well,” said choir member Tyree Austin (12). “I think everyone enjoyed it, including the teachers and students that were at the open house tables and then the little crowd that we had on the gym floor. I just thought overall it was a great musical experience.”
The concert took place in the large gym during the last hour of the open house and included recognizable songs such as “Joyful Joyful” from Sister Act 2 and “Ave Verum Corpus” as well as several medleys of classic Christmas carols. The band even put their own spin on a traditional tune with “Deck the Halls with Chips and Salsa,” combining “Deck the Halls” with the refrain of the 1958 hit “Tequila” by the Champs. Austin is particularly fond of this year’s program. “The lineup of the songs was great. I really appreciate Mrs. Price and all that she does in picking out music for us,” Austin said. “The songs that she picked were perfect for the occasion, for the Advent season.”
In addition to the concert choir, the newly-formed Andrean Gospel Choir also made an appearance, singing a song called “Total Praise.” The group, led by Austin, made its debut during last year’s multicultural assembly and performed for only the second time ever at this year’s Christmas concert. This year, Austin has taken the appropriate steps to make the Andrean Gospel Choir an official school-sponsored group.
“Last year, I just kinda got a group of my friends, [and] we just said we were going to do something for the multicultural assembly, but this year I decided to actually make it official. I went about talking to administration, making it an official club,” Austin said. After Ms. Charlotte Spence took on the role of club moderator, the gospel choir was able to start recruiting new members using flyers and intercom announcements. The group practiced a few times in Price’s room in the weeks preceding the concert.
“We were able to really prep, and… I really appreciate the dedication that came forth from the choir members. I really hope to do a lot more with it,” Austin said. Austin is planning to have the gospel choir perform at an all-school Mass in either January or February. “Hopefully, if that goes well, we’ll start holding rehearsals for songs that we can sing at Mass. And of course, we have the multicultural assembly again. Stuff might pop up in there, too. We’re getting opportunities and I really hope it continues throughout this year,” Austin said.
On a similar note, the band has some upcoming events to look forward to. Many individuals within the band are competing in the ISSMA solo contest at Crown Point High School on Saturday, January 28. “Marshall Lenski (12), Kathryn Strimbu (11), and Ephraim Mbachu (12) are competing Group I solos. If they receive a gold [rating], they will have the opportunity to compete down state in Indianapolis,” said band director David Little.
The Andrean band also performed their concert with the CYO band on December 10. “The parents really enjoy seeing the kids in beginning [band] and then watching all stages of where they progress all the way through the Andrean High School band,” Little said. “It’s really an impressive stage to represent Andrean and CYO playing together.”
All in all, the music program has much in store over the next few months; however, this does not mean they are closed off to new members. “We’re always accepting willing and able students who would like to come up and participate in [band],” Little said. “Don’t be shy.”