Home Moorestown News Moorestown High School’s winter concerts dazzle

Moorestown High School’s winter concerts dazzle

Orchestra, band and jazz students liven up classical music.

CHRISTINE HARKINSON/The Sun: Moorestown High School’s honors jazz band performs “Big Dipper” at its winter concert on Dec. 16.

Moorestown High School’s Performing Arts Department held its orchestra and band winter concerts on Dec. 15 and 16, events that were canceled last year due to COVID.

Jazz Band Director Chris Welte has been at the high school for four years.

He and his co-Director David Schmitt teach 75 students.

“It’s a really fun atmosphere,” Welte said. “Compared to the last two years, the kids are loving just being able to be band kids again and play and hang out.”

The high school has several ensembles, including the pep band, the concert band and two jazz bands. Although live performances were sparse in 2021, the Moorestown students performed classics such as “Let it Snow” and “April in Paris” on Dec. 16.

“From there, we can kind of put together smaller groups of kids for various performances throughout the year, too,” Welte explained. He also said that during a normal year, students get to travel and perform for different groups. 

Welte is grateful for his role as director.

“I have the best job in the world,” he noted. “I was definitely a band kid in high school, and it’s a lot of fun to be able to be on the other side of that and provide that to these kids.”

The school’s band program consists of more than just a class, but also a chance for friends to come together. 

“The same group of kids always come down to the band room and hang out at the end of the day,” the director said. “It’s a cool culture.”

Annette Burke, orchestra director for both the high school and William Allen Middle School, watched proudly at the Dec. 15 concert as 88 students played violins, cellos and bass.

“I feel like we’re an orchestra family,” she said. 

That family practices months in advance for the December shows.

“Some days, we work on technique and sectionals and small groups, and other days we rehearse all together,” she noted.

Students were grateful to again play for a live audience.

“That was extra special,” Burke said. “You don’t know what you have until you lose it. There’s nothing like a full group live, all dressed up, performance.”

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