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Upper School Jazz Band, Vocal Ensemble and Orchestra showcase their talents in the annual Music Assembly

Upper School Jazz Band, Vocal Ensemble and Orchestra showcase their talents in the annual Music Assembly
Jennifer Godwin-Minto

Poly’s Upper School students and faculty gathered on McWilliams Courtyard on the morning of Halloween for the annual music assembly. Parents handed out Halloween-decorated donuts to students as everyone found a nook or a picnic blanket to lay on for the duration of the production.

The Upper School Orchestra began by playing “This is Halloween” from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “The Old Boatman.” Next, the vocal ensemble showcased their melodic singing and harmony. They performed a rendition of “Pool Mashup” from the popular “Pitch Perfect” movies and “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd” from the Tony-award winning musical “Sweeney Todd”.

Jennifer Godwin-Minto

Among one of the soloists was sophomore Anastasia Arrieta, who performed “Vampire” by Olivia Rodrigo.

When asked about the experience of soloing in front of the entire Upper School, Arrieta said, “As a performer, stage fright never goes away. However, the more I performed, the more I could let go and delve into the song and show what I love.”

The final group, the jazz band, played two songs, “Serenade to a Soul Sister” by Horace Silver and “Dragon Fly” by Peter Bernstein. Sophomore pianist and drummer Iris Grether discussed how each member worked together. “In pre-production, we figured out the arrangements for each person as to which position they played. Then during our performance, we would aid one another by signaling cues for when the next part would begin,” she said.

Middle and Upper School performing arts directors Eric Lifland and Megan Foley both played vital roles in the preparation and execution of the music show.

When asked about their favorite part of the process, Lifland responded, “My favorite part was seeing the vocal ensemble grow in size and enthusiasm and step up to such a big performance. It was exciting to pull off an acapella piece.”

Foley shared, “My favorite part is working with the students as the process really allows students to work together, discover and challenge themselves to push their limits further which may differ for every individual.”

Through collaboration, passion and determination, Poly students and faculty reignited this annual festival after over three years as a result of the pandemic.

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