the fine and performing arts department's winter concert brings holiday cheer to the oyster bay-east norwich community
By: Kevin Biggiani
Despite all the of obstacles of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Oyster Bay High School Fine and Performing Arts Department found a way to put on performances that wowed the Oyster Bay-East Norwich community. In the month of December, 2021, the high school’s bands and choruses gave exceptional concerts, which succeeded in capturing the holiday spirit for all that attended.
First, on December 7, 2021, the Oyster Bay High School’s Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band combined to perform an array of holiday music in the high school’s gymnasium before the community, even inviting those that attended in person to sing along. The combined band, under the direction of Mr. Sisia, treated the enthusiastic audience to many holiday music favorites. For the first time in over a year, the entire community was invited to attend the concert, which had to be held virtually last year.
Then, on December 9, 2021, the Middle Level Band and Jazz Band wowed the audience. These two bands, under the direction of Mr. Giannetta, gave dynamic performances. The Middle Level Jazz Band played a fun jazz rendition of “All I Want For Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth,” adding to the student musicians’ success, which only continued to crescendo as the concerts kept coming.
A few days later, it was time for the high school Jazz Band and Middle Level Chorus to perform, and they did not disappoint. The groups gave excellent performances and received rousing applause from the audience. Many of the members of the Jazz Band gave fine solos, and the Jazz Band concluded its performance with the memorable Stevie Wonder hit “Sir Duke.” Mr. Flood, an energetic newcomer to the Fine and Performing Arts faculty, directed the Middle Level Chorus, putting on a fabulous show. The Middle Level Chorus, with Kevin Jackson as the accompanist, performed “Solstice Song,” “Hine Ma Tov” and “My Own Song.”
The series of concerts capped off on December 16, 2021 and featured spectacular performances by the Oyster Bay High School Wind Ensemble and Chamber Singers. Math teacher, Ms. Patterson, sang along with the Chamber Singers and added a special magic to the performance.
Spreading even more holiday cheer to administration, faculty, and students alike, the high school’s Chamber Singers, under the direction of Mr. Flood, started off the December 23rd school day by welcoming students to the building with the warm and festive sound of holiday carols. The Chamber Singers continued singing at Roosevelt Elementary School, as the younger students arrived later on.
The Fine and Performing Arts Department and its faculty members must be recognized for preparing the students to give great performances, but also for securing the safety of those in the community that attended the concerts. Due to the pandemic, attendees reserved tickets for socially distanced seats in the auditorium, which made the concerts safe for everyone.
Anthony Femino, Fine and Performing Arts Supervisor, quite nicely summed up the entire winter concert series by highlighting their role in bringing the Oyster Bay-East Norwich community together after a long period of separation due to the pandemic. He said, “It has been a pleasure to bring five concerts to the Oyster Bay-East Norwich community. We are fortunate to have had every concert with a live audience this winter season, including our fall musicals. The Fine and Performing Arts Department thrives on bringing the community into the schools and seeing everyone face-to-face to continue to build the school to community relationship.”
Congratulations to all of the high school’s music groups on their excellent performances and, without question, for bringing holiday cheer to all!