Talent to Warm You Up When It’s Cold

Kaitlin D'Souza, Staff Writer

On Saturday, Dec. 15, Evergreen Philharmonic had their annual “Home for the Holidays” concert at Issaquah High School, guest starring the talented Skyline Vocal Jazz Choir. With an amazing set list of holiday favorites, the combined music groups hit every single note beautifully.

The orchestra started out their set with an amazing rendition of “Sleigh Ride” followed by a joyous holiday sing along about angels, inviting the audience to participate in singing carols like “Hark the Harold Angels Sing” and “Angels We Have Heard on High.” The Skyline Vocal Jazz choir followed up with “Hannukah, Oh, Hannukah,” a fun, energetic song with a bouncy piano and string backing. Skyline senior Olivia Dong says “[I had the most fun singing] “’Hanukkah oh Hanukkah’ because I’m an alto so my harmonies were luscious and fun to sing.” Issaquah High alumni, Zack Mautz, made a special guest appearance to play “Michi” and show off the talents he picked up studying percussion performance at Central Washington University. The next flurry of songs, ‘Christmas Night Medley” and “Irving Berlin’s Christmas” included both bell ringing and laughter from the audience.

I spent most of the concert marveling at the talented musicians playing and the rest of the time taking a trip down memory lane with fun songs like “Frosty Red Santa,” a medley composed of the crowd favorites, “Frosty the Snowman,” “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Santa Claus Is Coming to Town,” that had everyone singing along.

My personal favorite piece of the night was “The Bells Medley” because of the fun harmonies and bouncy tunes. “Jingle Bells” really captures the spirit of the season and I think the orchestra really demonstrated the hard practice that went into the concert by nailing each piece. Senior Hannah Chernin says her favorite piece was also “‘The Bells Medley’ because [her] favorite holiday song is ‘Carol of the Bells.’” Next up was a “Christmas Carol Melody,” yet another sing along that got the crowd going. There truly was not a dull moment watching Evergreen perform and the sing-alongs kept the audience engaged the entire night.

Best of the performance was Evergreen’s playing of iconic pieces from “The Nutcracker” like “Miniature Overture” and “Trepak,” dramatic songs that capture the elegant beauty of the holiday season. Liberty student, Allyson Mangus says she had the most fun playing “’The Trepak’ [because] it’s such a recognizable piece and it’s really energetic.” This positive energy showed in the amazing melodies of the song stemming from the hard work that went into every practice. Issaquah sophomore Emma Bi says she “liked the Overture because they’re, like really well known and fun to play.” Chernin says she thinks the orchestra really hit “’The Nutcracker’ pieces [because they] worked really hard on it and it turned out really well.”

Evergreen finished the night on a high note playing an “It’s Christmas Medley” that got them a standing ovation from the audience. The entire night there was not a single sad face in the crowd. All of Evergreen’s concerts promise fun times and amazing music and this year’s “Home for the Holidays” was no different.

Be sure to come out for Evergreen’s Concerto Concert on Saturday, April 27 at 7:00 pm!