Orchestra winter concert brings festive music to Spartan stage

Bells jingle, sleighs ride, chestnuts roast. With the holiday season rapidly approaching, there is one thing that no one can escape: Christmas songs. Whether on the radio or in the grocery store, festive music is everywhere, even on the White Station stage. Monday, Dec. 10, the Spartan orchestras had their annual winter concert. This year featured the White Station Middle School orchestras and percussionists from the White Station High School band.

From a Polar Express medley to Mannheim Steamroller’s version of “Deck the Halls,” the orchestras performed a variety of less common holiday pieces. One song greatly differed from the rest, however: three of Sparta’s senior violinists played solo parts and were accompanied by the orchestra. This song was “Autumn” from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, a popular classical piece.

Sophomore bassist Anjali Gahlaut enjoyed the change in repertoire, even though she wasn’t a solo performer.

“We never really get to play original, good classical music in this class. It’s always like arrangements or movie music, and I really appreciated that [Dr. Palmer] let us play it,” Gahlaut said.

As fun as solo setups can be for orchestra members, they’re often just as interesting to those in the audience. Senior Charlie Folsom, one of the three soloists, noted some of the reactions from audience members while he was playing.

“When we were playing the normal songs, they were smiling and taking pictures and stuff, and the solos, they were surprised we were doing solos in the first place,” Folsom said.

Solo playing can be challenging, but Folsom seems to prefer the artistic freedoms that accompany it.

“Ensemble you kind of have to keep everything together,” Folsom said. “In solo you can express yourself.”