Students Inspire Selections at Upper School Winter Concert

By Hannah Garcia December 12, 2023

Amidst the flurry of the holiday season, Upper School students took the stage for the winter orchestra and jazz concerts. Directed by Dr. Elliot Cless ’02 and Pandelis Karayorgis, respectively, the two performances were a scintillating display of the talent and hard work prevalent at BB&N.

In a program lineup comprised of suggestions by students, the orchestra concert explored music from Asia through featuring multiple soloists. The Butterfly Lovers’ Concerto highlighted violinist Douglas Zhang ’25 and flutist Caroline Jiang ’24 in a presentation of four of the seven pieces of the song. Following that spectacular display, Leo Wang ’24 played the erhu with the backing of the full orchestra.

An erhu is a Chinese two-stringed spike fiddle, bowed not like a traditional western violin, but more resembling a cello or guitar. Dr. Cless arranged the piece Galloping Steeds to have a full orchestra accompaniment specifically for this concert. The extraordinary performance by the group left a lasting impression as students transitioned to the jazz concert.

Following the concert in the theater, audience members packed into the chorale room to support the jazz groups. The ensembles played songs from all ages of jazz and included a range of instruments including cello, keyboard, and guitar. From Duke Ellington to Joe Garland, the session was a showcase of rhythm and prowess present in the music program.