Musicians of Dougherty deliver a power-packed fall concert performance


Dougherty Valley High School Choirs debuted their first songs of the year on Oct. 4t in the DVHS theatre. This performance included all of Dougherty’s four choirs: Women’s Ensemble, Treble Clef, Concert Choir and Chamber singers.

According to DV’s choir director, Mrs. Diana Walker, each choir was to perform one folk piece, one modern piece and one traditional choral piece.

“[I’m excited to have them] discovering their sound as an ensemble and what we can artfully present to the audience,” Walker stated.

The first choir to take the stage was Women’s Ensemble, a choir composed of all first-year female singers. Its best piece, “Scarborough Fair,” contained interesting interwoven parts that challenged the young singers. Their  bright tone brought down their quality of sound a little, however, they wrapped up their set with a RENT-dition of the hit song “Seasons of Love”, which warmed the hearts of the audience despite some technical issues with balance and intonation.

The next choir up was Treble Clef, consisting of all second year female singers. Its first piece, “Tango to Evora” had a light playful melody and featured an incredible solo by Sophomore Allyson Wu. Its next piece was “Fountain song”, which is a difficult piece technically, a bold choice which the audience loved. During this song, the varied skill level of the concert choir was evident when listening to sustained high notes. The final song “And I Can Sing” featured stunning piano instrumentation and a bold, creepy-sounding section.

The third performers were from Concert Choir, consisting of third year female singers and both first and second year males. Its final piece, arguably the best of the night,  was an “In The Heights” medley, which featured bright Latin melodies and many soloists. “In the Heights” is written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, the famous writer of “Hamilton”. The song had great balance, intonation and piano instrumentation. The soloists dazzled the stage, one in particular being Vanathi Sundararaman, who embodied a certain Latin flair that fit the song incredibly well.

“We made a lot of mistakes, but we pulled through,” stated one Concert Choir member who wished to remain anonymous.

The final choir to perform was the Chamber Choir. They showcased a vocal Jazz rendition of “Amazing Grace”, a haunting piece called “Earth Song” and a heartwarming composition of “Flight Song.” The chamber singers are known as the highest level of  DVHS choirs, and they earned their title during “Amazing Grace” and “Earth Song”. These a cappella songs showcased the high level blend, balance and intonation of the chamber choir. In particular, Nick Chun, Jason Yan, Rupesh Barman and Vasu Goel performed an impressive sectional solo in “Amazing Grace”.

Overall, the fall choir performances started both the concert and the year for the choirs on a high note. Several high level choir members indicated there is more to come.

Junior Lisa Garchara said directly after the performance, “That was a great concert, but we haven’t improved that much[from the beginning of the year].  But we will.”

The choir’s hard work practicing an hour a day, according to Mrs. Walker, paid off, wowing the audience.

The performances set the stage for the chamber orchestra, after a brief intermission.

After the stellar choir performance, the bar was set quite high for the musicians of Dougherty, yet they managed to get the audience fiercely applauding with their symphonic lineup. The chamber orchestra featured the violin, viola, cello, bass, piano and drum set. The talented musicians were conducted by the orchestra director, Ms. Patricia Drury.

Their premiere song was ‘Movements 1 and 4’ from the melodious piece, “Company”. The audience encouragingly applauded as the talented musicians set the stage for the rest of their performance. The symphonies were performed with dedication and brought applause from the engrossed audience. After such a build up, the night ended with the resonating performance of “Can’t Stop the Feeling.” The skill displayed in this final song brought the audience to its feet with applause, reflecting the efforts put in the making of this night of the performance.

On Oct. 5, Wind Ensemble 1, Wind Ensemble 2 and Jazz Band took the stage.  The final night of the concert showcased the flute, clarinet, saxophone, percussion, piano, bass and more. These talented musicians were conducted by band director Ms. Teri Musiel. Wind Ensemble 2 took on the stage with their lineup of songs from the theme of movement. These performances warmed up the audience for the rest of the performance.

Taking on the stage next was Wind Ensemble 1, which performed a familiar tune from the summer: “The Olympic Spirit” by John Williams. Following that, they performed four movements from “Grand Serenade for an Awful Lot of Winds and Percussion”. These movements featured a light and humorous tune, which the entire audience thoroughly enjoyed. The first movement, “Grand Entrance,” was a short one, with repeating lines. The second,”Simply Grand Minuet,”featured some band members playing music with their mouthpieces only at the end, such as when the clarinet section took water and gurgled a B-flat note. The third movement, “Romance In The Grand Manner,” featured a slower tone, and finally, “Rondo Mucho Grando”, featured a long and simple melody in which towards the end, the percussionists drop their instruments, while making it look like an accident. This move, called ‘Crasho Grosso’, actually made the audience believe that it was an accident, until Musiel clarified that it was a part of the piece. This final piece from Wind Ensemble 1 got the audience cheering with utmost delight. While watching such an exhilarating performance, one could see that the musicians were extremely passionate about music.

Taking on the stage after the intermission was Jazz Band. They began their melodious performance with a catchy piece called, “Samba Del Grino” by Gordon Goodwin. This piece featured solos on both saxophones and trumpet. Then, they presented the songs, “My Favorite Things” and “The Duke.” To conclude the fall concert, the Jazz Band performed “Super Mario Medley” by Koji Kondo. This song was also played on parent’s night, and was performed once again with great enthusiasm and dedication.

An audience member stated,”That was a truly captivating and energizing performance. I am looking forward to watching  many more concerts like this one.”

The outstanding choir performances and the symphonic extravaganza presented by the orchestra and band set the stage for musical presentations yet to come in this year.