Small Ensembles Bring Crowd to Their Feet

Penn Manor’s small ensembles concert ended their season on a high note as the last performance finished with a deafening cheer and a standing ovation from the extremely pleased and more-than-satisfied audience.

On Wednesday, May 19, the Jazz Band kicked off the night with “The Work Song” which included a solo by senior Zach Levenson on saxophone. Levenson performed four other solos throughout the Jazz Band portion of the night and performed a combo tune with pianist Holly Mancinelli.

Nick Charles was mentioned before the start of “It Don’t Mean a Thing(If It Ain’t Got That Swing)” because he had to step in and replace fellow Jazz Band member, Tyler Funk, because of Funk’s inability to attend to concert. Charles took over Funk’s drum solo and prepared for the concert in a week’s time. His dedication paid off with a roar of applause at the conclusion of the song.

The line up on stage changed nearly every song as a different drummer replaced the last and allowed each their time to shine. Jesse Griffith, Nick Charles, Sal Dumas and Steven Resh each played a song.

Tommy Hotchkiss and Adam Zangari each had a trumpet solo for “Rooster Tail” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing,” respectively. Helen Hutchens had a vibes solo for “It Don’t Mean a Thing” and Tim Deubler had a solo during “Cut to the Chase.”

Hotchkiss and fellow trumpet player, Mike Helwig grooved to the music by swinging their bells to the rhythm of the songs.

The audience followed their lead by bobbing their heads and moving their feet. Band director, Tom Mumma, even let loose on stage and got into the swing of things.

A special guest player, Nate Sheaffer, joined the band from start to finish. Sheaffer was the woodwind instructor for the 2009-2010 marching band season.

The Manor Singers started out with laughs as Kyle Hallett received a ‘top secret’ envelope from an ‘unidentifiable mystery man.’ The Singers came out of the woodwork as they appeared from the audience and backstage decked out in dark sunglasses as a search light scanned the auditorium in a mock prison-break style.

After the song ended, Melissa Telesco, chorus director, encountered minor microphone difficulties which were quickly fixed and the concert continued.

The musical “RENT” came to Penn Manor in the form of the opening song “Seasons of Love.”  Tim Deubler, Jenna Spayd, Brendan Kincade, Kate Harrold and Ian Bricker all performed solos.

Hannah Tucker, choral student president, showed off her leadership skills as she conducted the Singers while performing alongside them in “Build Me Up Buttercup.”

The lighting crew played up the ‘buttercup’ aspect of the song by illuminating the ensemble with bright yellow lights in a flower type pattern.

The alto section stole the show with their understanding of the lovey-dovey meaning of the song and their playful attitude and smiling faces.

“O Magnum Mysterium” had a haunting start that captivated the audience in stunned silence. The layers of harmony began with the song and continued throughout. The sacred piece received great praise from the crowd.

The Manor Singers concluded their performance with “Faithful Over a Few Things.”  The constant dynamic changes created a hush over the auditorium as the crowd prepared themselves for the next rise and fall of the music. “Faithful” was the only song of the night to include accompaniment, and Kelly Lenahan, sophomore, was thoroughly applauded.

Manor Singers Video:

Build Me Up Buttercup – Manor Singers

During the classical Mozart piece, “Amadeus!”, Henry Stewart was captured by the music and showed the audience his passion for the music.

During “Arabian Nights” the beginning of the song started with a soft, barely audible violin solo from Sophia Wu-Shanley, which crescendoed to a suspenseful, dramatic inclusion of the other orchestra members.

Orchestra conductor Sara Ricciardi was left without a microphone after the song but was rescued by Mumma, who returned the missing mic. Mumma then raised the stand over Ricciardi’s head and quickly exited stage right. Ricciardi took the joke lightly and introduced “Bagatelle.”

Wu-Shanley and Mark Chrictman each had a violin solo and Shannon Nitry had a viola solo during the piece. The song included many dynamic changes and received much praise at its conclusion.

The lighting crew returned again to shower the full orchestra with pale pink lights during “Pink Panther.”

In the final performance of the night, Manor Singers and Colorguard members, Olivia Stoltzfus and Kimberly Riley, joined the full orchestra for “Baba Yetu.”

Ricciardi publically thanked Stewart for taking the time to contact the composer, Christopher Tin, and ensuring that Penn Manor could use the song during the concert.

The lighting crew created a sunset scene behind the orchestra to create an African-inspired backdrop for the piece.

Logan Falk, Nate Lussier and Luke Harvey each had a vocal solo as Stoltzfus and Riley executed their self-choreographed routine on the right and left-hand sides of the stage.

The crowd loved the song and rose to its feet and shook the auditorium with cheers, whistles and shout outs to their favorite performers.

The energy in the auditorium excited the musicians as their grins threatened to take over their faces.

Manor Singers Video:

Baba Yetu – Penn Manor Singers Video

By Danie Beck

2 thoughts on “Small Ensembles Bring Crowd to Their Feet”

  1. Danie thank you so much for this write-up on our concert. I am so glad you enjoyed it. You are very well aware of the work that goes into the performance since you are a former member of our chorus and I appreciate you displaying our efforts. I am so proud of all the kids and their accomplishments.

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