Thursday, May 29th, was BSGE’s 2014 Spring Concert. The entire 9th grade participated, as did the school band: Players for Peace. Some students, such as Anu Shree Rajagopal ‘17 and Mariadolores Alvarez ‘17 had special performances. Anu played a traditional Indian violin, and Mariadolores showed off her flamenco dancing skills. The Players for Peace played well-known songs such as The Star-Spangled Banner. After that came intermission, and then the 9th graders played many complicated pieces such as the William Tell Overture, And the Mountains Rising…, and Swingin’ Shepard Blues.
Ms. Nikkolos, the music teacher and conductor during the concert, was very pleased with the concert’s turnout. She called it a “demonstration of the ninth grade achievement.” The achievement in question is knowledge of reading sheet music and playing percussion instruments. Some of the pieces the 9th graders played are on an 11th grade level, meaning that the 9th graders showed exceptional skill. Once that skill is mastered, Ms. Nikkolos explained, it is much easier to play any instrument. Although this is the last time many of the 9th graders will ever take music, Ms. Nikkolos hopes that many of them will either join the band or take one of the many opportunities to play music outside of school. According to Nikkolos, music is such am amazing thing because it is an outlet to express emotions while providing no chance of harm.
Another pleasing factor to Nikkolos was the large attendance of BSGE parents. In past years, significantly fewer parents attended than for this year. She is glad that parents recognize that their children need support that only they can provide.
The 9th graders had mixed feelings about the concert. Some, such as Malcolm Sherman-Godfrey ’17 and others, who preferred to remain nameless, thought the concert did not go well. They thought that they did not play well and the cafegymatorium was too crowded. Others, such as Anu and Richelle Chen ’17, thought the concert was a success.
Anu, like Ms. Nikkolos, enjoyed the fact that there were many parents there, leading to a crowded audience. Richelle especially enjoyed the special performances, and was pleased that the students new to the school this year were able to play just as well as those who had already taken music classes. Others such as Nikko Nakamura ’17 thought that the concert went well overall, but there were some things that could be improved on. He said, “I heard our class mess up on the second repeat because of the failure to count, and on the previous measures some students stopped playing due to confusion as to where we were.” Though responses to the concert were mixed from the 9th grade, overall it was an accomplishment for BSGE.