Winter benefit concert showcases flurry of talent


            ‘Tis the season to be jolly and enjoy the sounds of the season at the annual Winter Choir Concert this Friday, December 16 at 7pm. The event will also serve as a fundraiser and remembrance for Steven Updegraff, the choir’s vocal music instructor who recently became ill and passed away this October. 

            In addition to celebrating the holiday season and showcasing the talents of the students in the program, this year’s show honors Mr. Updegraff and his extraordinary contributions to the music department. Current Vocal Music teacher Carolyn Kimock expressed, “It is about the music and making a connection to what is a true representation of what Mr. Updegraff’s life was all about, what it meant for him to teach music, and what it meant for him to live a life that supported music and supported other people.” The proceeds from the Winter Concert will go to Mr. Updegraff’s family to assist them with housing expenses and future education payments for his three children.

            The concert will feature the choir and wind ensemble performing an array of holiday classics like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “Carol of the Bells” and tribute songs like “Into the West.”  “The name of the special tribute song that I am performing is ‘Climb Ev’ry Mountain’ from the movie musical, The Sound of Music. The Sound of Music was one of Mr. Updegraff’s favorite movies, and I believe that the song’s message resonates with what Mr. Updegraff’s legacy will forever be,” explained Meghan Valanzola. 

Seniors Naomi Garner and Romari Ebeun practice their parts for the Winter Choir Concert, scheduled for this Friday at 7pm.

            The performers consist of students across multiple vocal classes and the club, which requires a lot of planning, practice, and cooperation. “Most of the practices are during the day in class, but it is cool when we practice after school with the whole choir,” shared Megan Borsilli.  

            “Our concerts have never disappointed, so I have very high expectations,” said Skylar Hlinka. The concert is a great event to attend to support the students in their performance, help raise funds for Mr. Updegraff’s family, and to recognize and extend his legacy. 

Jessica Natale, Jaiden Shivprasad, Kacie Torres, and Grace Gonzalez rehearse their parts for the upcoming concert. during their Vocal Music Recital class.

Posted on 12/14/22 

Photos by Katelyn Buchalter

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