“A Little Night Music,” the final concert for Kingswood Oxford’s orchestras and bands, took place on Friday, April 26, with performances by the Middle School and Upper School orchestras in Alumni Hall, followed by the Upper School Jazz Combo, Concert Band, and Chamber Ensembles performing in Roberts Theater. Organized by Upper School Creative Arts Department Chair Todd Millen and creative arts teacher Richard Chiarappa, “A Little Night Music” featured many musicians coming together to collaborate on their music and display their talent.
Started so long ago that not even Mr. Millen knows its history, “A Little Night Music” has traditionally been the last concert event held by KO’s creative arts department each year. Musicians habitually begin preparing for this event at the beginning of second semester, and their polished performance always attracts an audience of a couple hundred, an impressive feat for everyone included.
For this year’s rendition of the event, Mr. Millen explained that the Concert Band was able to play with their music choice a little and chose to do all movie-themed music, including pieces from “Star Wars,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” “West Side Story,” and “Harry Potter.” Mr. Millen was also excited about the newly introduced chamber ensembles. “We had a nice feature of chamber groups, which are very small ensembles, “he said. “There were like four or five kids in a group, which was kind of nice to focus more on individual players.” As for the orchestra, in one piece junior Marwynn Somridhivej, who traditionally plays the violin, performed a piano solo written by Mr. Chiarappa alongside the group.
“A Little Night Music”has always been a special concert and a great opportunity for the musicians in KO to show their talents. “It’s two different concerts on the same night, and it’s the only time in the year we do that,” said Mr. Millen. “A lot of work goes into it, so it is nice to get out there and kind of show off what you’ve learned.”
To the seniors in the program, “A Little Night Music” also doubles as their farewell party; unlike the other players, seniors obviously do not play on graduation. Thus, Mr. Millen acknowledges each senior and invites the audience to applaud them. “It’s always nice to say goodbye to the seniors,” Mr. Millen said. “This time we had one senior in the orchestra and 14 seniors between the Jazz Ensemble and the Concert Band this year, and that was their final performance.”
As the director, Mr. Millen said he is always content with this program. “I think it works very well, it’s kind of nice to have everybody to come together and have their last [concert],” he said. “For the seniors, it is sort of like the beginning of the end, because only four or five weeks later it is their graduation. It is a nice cap for the end of the year.”