PEPPERELL — Seniors were treated to the festive likes of John Williams, Louis Armstrong and “Feliz Navidad” last Friday morning.
Nissitissit Middle School’s Select Chorus put on a special holiday concert at the Pepperell Senior Center for an audience of about 30. The group sang holiday selections old and new from their Tuesday holiday concert at the middle school.
“It’s my second year coming here, and I really have a lot of fun performing,” said seventh-grader Carianne Deacon. “At school, the stage is above the audience, but here it feels better singing and standing on the floor.”
Deacon and others said that a John Rutter arrangement of ‘For the Beauty of the Earth,’ a nineteenth century Christian hymn, was their favorite song. Rutter set the hymn, inspired by the natural countryside, to music for choruses.
“I like how it flows, it is a very beautiful song but is also challenging to sing,” Kylee LaRosae, an eighth-grader, said. “We have a lot of fun towards the end of the set.”
After finishing their own selections, the Select Chorus performed several Concert Chorus pieces including the upbeat Reflections of Hanukkah and Jose Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad.” Louis Armstrong composition “Zat You, Santa Clause?” featured Lillian Ellars, Alex Nick and Emily Gath as scat soloists who came out in front, grabbed a microphone and belted out some swinging vocal improvisation.
Eighth-grader Connor Griffiths said he enjoyed the fun, peppier songs in the set.
“This performance is more relaxed, it’s more like a chance to practice,” he said.
Erin Conneilly agreed.
“This helps us with the concert atmosphere …and our peers who see us in school every day aren’t here,” the eighth grader said.
Select Chorus members also performed the John Williams song “Double Trouble” featured in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban and was inspired by Shakespeare’s Macbeth. Soloists Julia Sheehan and Madiyln Sherwood took choruses in “I Am But a Small Voice.”
The performance was conducted by Chorus Director Bridgit Wilson and accompanied on piano by Jennifer Ellars. For the finale, the Select Chrous invited the audience to clap and sing along with “Feliz Navidad” and, at the songs conclusion, the group broke into a reprise of the song featuring a singing, electronic holiday turkey.
The turkey’s owner, Alex Nick, said he was inspired to because he knew it sang the song.
“We are still thinking of what to name him, he will be at the concert though,” he said.