2013 Fall Concerts

The NPS Arts and Wellness Department invites you to help us kick off the 2013-14 performing arts season in our schools!
The NHS Fall Bands Concert will be on Thursday, October 24 at 7pm in the NHS Auditorium. This roughly hour-long show is suitable for all ages, and features the NHS Symphonic Band and NHS Wind Ensemble, performing a wide range of works for band, including two important 20th century works for winds by Vincent Persichetti, one of the most ground-breaking and influential composers in the genre.
The NHS Fall Choral and Jazz Concert will be on Tuesday, October 29th, also at 7pm in the NHS Auditorium.  Featuring performances by the NHS Chorus, NHS Jazz Workshop and NHS Jazz Ensemble, the Choral and Jazz concerts are some of the most popular nights of the year.  It typically runs a bit over an hour and is also suitable for all ages.
As always, both concerts are free of charge and open to the public.

2013 Spring Concerts

The Norwell High School Music Department will be hosting its final major concerts of the season on Thursday, April 25th and Tuesday, April 30th.  Both performances are at 7pm in the NHS Auditorium and are, as always, open to the public and free of charge.  Donations to support NHS Music’s December 2013 trip to the Midwest Clinic in Chicago, IL will be accepted at the door, but are not required.

The first of the two concerts will feature the NHS Symphonic Band and Wind Ensemble, as well as several smaller chamber ensembles.  The highlights of the evening include a performance by the NHS Percussion Ensemble, which is always a crowd favorite, and a set of pieces by the NHS Wind Ensemble in tribute to the great cultural history of Mexico, including Clifton Williams’ Symphonic Dance No. 3 “Fiesta” and H. Owen Reed’s three-movement symphony for band, La Fiesta Mexicana.

The second evening will feature the final concert performances of the year from the NHS Chorus, Jazz Workshop and Jazz Ensemble.  As always, the evening is a mix of music from a wide variety of genres, ranging from popular and jazz music through folk and classical.  This performance will also feature the world premiere of several student compositions by students in NHS’ music theory program.

We hope you will join us to help celebrate the wrapping up of another exciting and successful concert season, and to give recognition to the contributions of the music program’s many graduating seniors!

Please contact John O’Briant (john.obriant@norwellschools.org) with any questions.

Small Ensemble Nights February 7, 14

NHS Music is proud to invite you to its two annual Small Ensemble Night concerts, on February 7th and 14th in the NHS Auditorium.  Both shows are on Thursday nights, at 7pm, and are (as always) free of charge and open to the public.

These performances are the largest portion of NHS’ unique and extensive chamber music program.  Between December and February, all of the students in our large ensembles (Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Chorus, Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Workshop) split up into smaller performing groups of roughly 1-6 students.  They often choose their own repertoire and rehearse with minimal interference from the faculty, who are present primarily when students hit a rut, to help them to discover solutions to musical and interpersonal challenges.  The students research their repertoire, make artistic decisions about how to perform it, and take responsibility for self-preparation, critical listening and group-based problem-solving.  In doing so, they develop the independence, confidence, sensitivity, accountability and verbal and non-verbal communication skills that are so central to good musicianship.

The results are always fascinating and diverse!  Each concert always features a wide array of styles and genres of music, performed by a mix of vocal and instrumental students from differing backgrounds and levels of experience, and we hope you’ll come out to see what these students have to offer!


NHS Winter Concerts December 13, 18

This December, more than a hundred Norwell High School students will take to the stage as part of the school’s two Winter Concerts.  The NHS Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band kick things off on Thursday, December 13th, and the NHS Chorus, Jazz Workshop and Jazz Ensemble wrap up this portion of the concert season on Tuesday, December 18th.  Both performances will take place in NHS’ Bunnell Auditorium at 7pm, and both are free of charge and open to the public.

The second of four legs of the 2012-13 season, this pair of concerts traditionally features lighter repertoire for family enjoyment.  The Symphonic Band, for instance, will be taking on arrangements of Camille Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the Animals and Tchaikovsky’s winter classic The Nutcracker.  Meanwhile, the Wind Ensemble will be making a light-hearted tour of the British Isles, performing Andrew Boysen’s Kirkpatrick Fanfare, based largely on the ballad “Danny Boy,” Percy Grainger’s beautiful setting of Ye Banks and Braes O’Bonnie Doon, and Robert Sheldon’s set of three darkly humorous Irish ballads, A Longford Legend.  

On the second concert, the Jazz Ensemble will perform an innovative arrangement of Herbie Hancock’s Maiden Voyage as well as a quartet of classic big band tunes, three of which are from the Duke Ellington songbook: the 1942 jazz standard C Jam Blues, a 1936 jazz concerto written for trumpeter Cootie Williams entitled Echoes of Harlem, and Royal Garden Blues, made popular in 1919 by the Original Dixieland Jazz Band, an early integrated New Orleans quintet responsible for recording the first jazz singles ever released in the United States.  This concert will also feature a set of traditional and seasonal music for mixed choir performed by the growing NHS Chorus, under the direction of Mrs. Amy Cortright, and a short set of combo jazz with a heavy emphasis on improvisation by the NHS Jazz Workshop.

Both concerts will also host the NHS Art Department’s Annual Holiday Photography Raffle.  Ten framed student works will be up for raffle, with the proceeds going to support the NHS Art Club.  Tickets for the raffle will be on sale at both winter concerts, with the drawing occurring at the December 18th show.

We hope to see you there!

Fall Concerts October 18, 25

The staff and students of the NHS Music Department have the distinct pleasure of inviting you to our first set of concerts for the 2012-13 season.  On Thursday, October 18th, the NHS Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band will be presenting a concert of several of the great works for band, and on Thursday, October 25th, the NHS Chorus, Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Workshop will take to the stage for the first time this year.  Both concerts begin at 7pm, are free of charge and open to the public, and should last roughly 75 minutes.  Both shows are wonderful for people of all ages!

The Fall Bands Concert, the first concert of our 2012-13 season, features over 70 Norwell High School students in performances of works by George Gershwin, Frank Ticheli and more, while the Fall Choral and Jazz Concert will be a wonderful mix of music for mixed chorus, big band and jazz combo that draws on a wide variety of genres and styles.  We hope you’ll join us!  For further information, please contact John O’Briant at john.obriant@norwellschools.org.

2012-13 Music Handbook Now Available

The 2012-13 NHS Music Handbook is now available on the tab above (PDF Format).  The largest changes you’ll see this year are cosmetic–we’ve changed the layout significantly and condensed from an unwieldy 31 pages down to a positively svelte 18!  We’re hoping that the result is a handbook that is easier to navigate and digest, especially for new parents and students who will be with us for the first time.  Give it a look, and if you have any feedback or questions, feel free to email Mr. O’Briant!

Alumni Wanted!

The 2nd All-Norwell Band Concert is coming up–and we’d like to get in touch with the many alumni who have come through our doors (from my time and before!) and invite you to come perform with us on Saturday, June 9that 1pm in the NHS Gym.

We’ll be holding two optional open rehearsals, open to any alum who’d like to get a chance to read through our repertoire for the show–on Thursday, June 7th from 12:15-1:09 and Friday, June 8th from 1:12-2:06.  You can still come perform on the 9th if you think you’ll feel comfortable with the repertoire.

Since there are most likely going to be four bands performing (from all four schools), the setlist is short:

  • Jack Stamp, Gavorkna Fanfare
  • Eric Whitacre, Cloudburst

Please feel free to contact me via email (john.obriant@norwellschools.org) if you’re interested!