As a student travels down to the Collins Center one afternoon, he hears the sound of music flooding the halls adjacent to the theater. The vibration of stringed instruments, the powerful tone of trumpets, and the collection of echoing voices all permeate the area. Winter is approaching, and so are the performances of Andover High’s chorus, orchestra, and band.
Two upcoming concerts include the AHS Peace Concert on December 19 and the AHS Winter Concert on January 9. Both concerts will take place from 7-9pm in the Collins Center, and will be performed by the high school’s chorus, orchestra, and band. The directors of these music groups—Mr. Mercer, Mrs. Diehl, Ms. Kolodziej, and Ms. Hofius—strongly encourage the high school community to come see the performances. By attending these concerts, students will be supporting their hard-working peers, while enjoying a wonderful musical experience at the same time.
“There is nothing like the art of live theater,” says choral director Mr. Mercer. “Many people nowadays depend and rely on YouTube and video recordings to see things, but the truth is you can’t truly gain a sense of the ‘atmosphere’ without actually being in the room during the performance.”
There are 173 students involved in a choir, 60 in the orchestra, and 36 in the marching band. Participating in the music program and preparing for concerts can help students gain an appreciation for music, while it also contributes to their own personal growth.
These involved students gain an “understanding of the importance of teamwork and commitment, [and an] understanding that exceptional performance comes from individual commitment,” explains Mr. Mercer.
Mrs. Diehl, one of the orchestra directors, adds, “Being a member of [one of the high school’s music groups] gives students an identity within the AHS music community, the general community of AHS, and the growing Fine Arts Department of the Andover Public Schools.”
Although it varies by group, the chorus, orchestra, and band each spend multiple hours a week in rehearsal. Nevertheless, students show their excitement and optimism of being in a music group.
“I like being with people who like to play music,” Emily Care, a freshman in the band, says.
Many members of the chorus, orchestra, and band have been involved in music for many years, including through middle school. Some students share why they’ve enjoyed their overall experience with music.
Diya Anand, a freshman, says that her favorite thing about being in the band is “just being with other people who have similar talents and people who enjoy the same things as you.”
So, come see the chorus, orchestra, and band perform this winter, simply because, as Care puts it, “It’s music, and who doesn’t like music?”
-By Emai Lai