A Snowy Symphony: Tech’s Winter Concert


Eason Fan ('25)

Sara Matsumoto (’25) performing with the Orchestra

In December, Brooklyn Tech held its annual winter concert, consisting of choral, orchestral, and instrumental performances. This included a brilliant tribute to the late Chadwick Boseman through music from Black Panther by Ludwig Goranssön and “Wildest Dreams” by Taylor Swift. Assistant Principal of Visual and Performing Arts, Mr. Gustave Trombetta, opened each performance by thanking everyone, including the student body, for their dedication to the Visual & Performing Arts Program.

Art Exhibition

This year, visual arts were showcased alongside musical arts at the Art Exhibition in the center lobby. This change marked a multimedia welcome to the Winter Concert. During the intermissions, attendees could witness the creations of Horizons: Arts & Literary Magazine, Media major, DDP classes, Studio Art, Animation Club, and more. The creations included landscapes, futurism, abstract impressionism, and still-life paintings. Trombetta added, “The big thing about the Winter Concert this year is that it’s also a student art exhibition and that for the first time since I’ve been here, and this goes back to 2010, the visual arts are being put on display.”

Choral Performance

To begin the evening, the Intermediate Treble Choir performed “Shosholoza,” an incorporation of South African culture that emphasizes the hardships of working in the mines. Shosholoza, which means to move forward and make way for the next man, is a word that gives hope and encouragement to the workers as they work together. The performance continued with “Winter Song,” and its powerful messages. Through their impressive vocal ranges, the song’s soloists, Michelle Boltyshev and Chloe Cheng, conveyed the importance of being hopeful in dark times, never giving up, and having a positive outlook on life.

Marjani Farmer (’25) performing with the Intermediate Treble Choir    Image- Eason Fan (’25)


Next up, a highlight of the performance, Haolin Jiang’s piano solo did not disappoint. Her performance of the “Rigoletto Paraphrase” was outstanding, as her transitions from adagio to allegro and from soft to suspenseful were flawless. The first half of the performance concluded with other powerful songs like “Mary Did You Know?” by Mark Lowry and Buddy Greene, which demonstrates a reverence for family and religion, but also soft and upbeat songs like “He Beeped When He Shoulda Bopped” by John Gillespie.

After a brief intermission, the Advanced Treble Choir played drums on classroom desks for “Gaudete from Piae Cantiones, 1582,” a sacred Christmas carol that was composed alongside other Swedish sacred songs in the 16th century. Next, the choir performed “Tundra” by Ola Gjeilo, in which the beauty of the lyricist’s homeland in Norway was expressed by soprano soloist Meredith Shull.

The Tech Chorale capped off the evening with “Where Are You Christmas?”, a spectacular ending to the performance. The soloists put on Christmas hats and started hitting high note after high note as the audience cheered and applauded in awe every time.

Orchestral Performance

The Orchestral Concert started with a traditional French folk song, along with more modern songs like “Dragonhunter” by Richard Meyer and “Christmas Canon” by Michael Green. The Renaissance Ensemble followed. Their performances of “Amadeus! from Symphony No. 25”, “Blue Ridge Run,” and “Mythos” were beautiful. The performers of Amadeus! captured the sadness Mozart expressed while composing Symphony No. 25 in G minor, which was very unusual at the time. Mozart’s use of G minor was new, but it succeeded in its purpose to express tragedy. Next, the Rondalla Quartet performed “Ang Cariñosa,” an official national Philippine dance song about love and romance.

The Orchestra Evoluzione kicked off the second half of the performance in exciting fashion with “Wildest Dreams” by Taylor Swift and music from Black Panther. Serlina Wu (‘25) mentioned, “we experimented a lot by implementing more modern pop songs rather than just classical music. In the end, I felt proud and I’m glad that the audience enjoyed it as well.” The Black Panther music was executed masterfully, as the transitions between high and low notes symbolized the fall and rise of the Black Panther in the movie.

Wu (‘25), an Intermediate Orchestra violinist, expressed her appreciation for Mr. Tasopoulos, who “put in so much effort, and gave students opportunities to showcase their creativity with music.”

The Brooklyn Virtuosi was next, performing “Holberg Suite, op. 40,” “Divertimento in D Major,” and “Symphony No. 2.” The performance of “Symphony No. 2” was special because Beethoven wrote it with a scherzo instead of a standard minuet, increasing its scope and energy. The combination of musical jokes in it and the fact that Beethoven wrote it at a time when his deafness was starting to seem incurable added to the excitement the performers brought performing it. All the violinists, violists, bassists, and cellists played in unison. The evening concluded with “Sleigh Ride” by Leroy Anderson, one of the most popular pieces of Christmas music in the U.S., performed by the Intermediate and Advanced Orchestras, a combination of orchestra levels that had never been done before.

Instrumental Performance

As the last performance of the Winter Concert began, the audience knew they were in for a treat. The Concert Band began with the “Jingle Bells March,” and it was an exciting reminder that Winter Break was near. They continued the winter atmosphere with symphonic highlights from Frozen. Songs like “Let It Go” and “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” brought back nostalgic memories for the audience.

The Junior Jazz Band continued with “Oye Como Va,” one of the most popular latin rock songs of all time that uses a driving arrangement to excite its listeners and get them on their feet. The audience cheered every soloist, as the band showcased the individual capabilities of each of its members.

The Jazz Combo came off stage tp perform “Morning in Times Square” directly in front of the audience, the only song that was composed by one of the students performing it. It was amazing to witness the performance of the Jazz Combo, as the audience was very close to the action and was able to hear them play as one synchronized group.

After an intermission, the Symphonic Band opened with “Barnum and Bailey’s Favorite March.”
Ethan Marecheau (‘25), a Symphonic Band trombonist felt that “we did a great job. We were able to play all of our pieces at the level that was expected of us by Mr. Withers, and we could tell that everyone there enjoyed it. I feel like we were the best concert of the week.” Marecheau and the other members of the Symphonic Band backed up that bold statement with performances of “Concert Suite from The Polar Express” by Alan Silvestri and Glen Ballard and “Selections from Les Miserables” by Claude Michele Schonberg. “Selections from Les Miserables” is a thrilling cultural marvel with a history dating back to the 19th century, and it covers a story of escape from a terrible situation and the path to becoming a good man.

Chelsea Ferguson (‘25), an oboist for the Symphonic Band was extremely proud of her fellow band members because “there were some parts of the performance that we would constantly forget to perfect during rehearsal, but we came together for the final performance.”

Next, the Jazz Band performed “Birdland”, a fast-paced and riveting song that pays homage to the famous New York City jazz club that hosted many famous jazz musicians until it closed in 1965. The audience again witnessed the incredible talents of the soloists, who were accompanied by complementary performances from the band’s drums, bass guitars, and more.

Dylan LaBella (’23) performing with the Jazz Band. Image- Aayushma Rai (’25)

Mr. Withers continued to uplift his musicians with encouraging body language and positive energy conducting the final song. “This Christmas” was a fitting end to a wonderful Winter Concert, as it captured the fun and anticipation brought by the atmosphere. Mr. Withers ended the show by giving a shoutout to all his performers for their devotion and commitment.