By: Kevin Biggiani
The Oyster Bay East-Norwich Fine and Performing Arts Department annually alternates its Cavalcade of Choirs and Cavalcade of Bands concerts; this year the choirs had their turn. James H. Vernon’s Fifth and Sixth Grade Chorus, Oyster Bay High School’s Middle Level Chorus, and Oyster Bay High School’s Chamber Singers put on section performances that culminated in a three-choir combined finale. Two years ago the COVID-19 pandemic forced the cancellation of the Cavalcade of Choirs just before the performance was scheduled to take place.
In the evening of March 24, 2022 the Cavalcade of Choirs returned with the three choirs giving a virtuoso performance before a packed house in the Oyster Bay High School Performing Arts Center. Many of the student musicians were participating in their first Cavalcade of Choirs. It was clearly evident from the loud applause from the audience that the performance was enjoyed and all in attendance were excited that the Cavalcade of Choirs was back!
The concert opened with the Chamber Singers singing the Star Spangled Banner beautifully. The James H. Vernon Fifth and Sixth Grade Chorus, under the direction of Mr. Costidis, then stepped onto the risers and belted out an excellent performance of two songs to the delight of their very proud parents and the rest of the audience. The choir sang Promised Land and Sisi Ni Moja (We Are One). Without question, talent abounds in this fine choir.
The next group to perform was the high school’s Middle Level Chorus under the direction of Mr. Fludd. This choir’s first piece was the popular song A Million Dreams. Three of the students in the choir gave wonderful solos. The choir’s second selection was an upbeat song called Feel Good. The piece involved the choir members both singing and rhythmically clapping throughout. It was readily apparent that the audience enjoyed this selection.
The Oyster Bay High School Chamber Singers were last to perform. Also under the direction of Mr. Fludd, this group of talented singers masterfully performed two uplifting songs. The first was Veni Veni Emmanuel and the second selection called Na Na Na was a very fun piece to listen to, as it involved the choir intermixing clapping of hands while they sang the song.
The Finale can only be described as “simply wonderful,” as the three choirs flawlessly combined to sing an inspiring song called Give Us Hope. This selection was a great way to end the concert.
Mr. Femino, the Supervisor of the Oyster Bay East-Norwich Fine and Performing Arts Department was the Emcee for the evening. In between the group performances, Mr. Femino explained to the audience the educational benefits of being a member of a school choir. He also complimented Mr. Costidis and Mr. Fludd for the outstanding job both have done rebuilding the choirs, which lost some of their membership the last few years due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. Mr. Costidis is a veteran teacher who has been instrumental in developing talented musicians in our school district. In his first year in the district, Mr. Fludd, without question, has instilled enthusiasm in the high school’s choral programs.
Congratulations to all district choirs that participated in the magnificent performance! Next year it will be the district’s bands’ turn to wow the audience in the Cavalcade of Bands.