A Poppin’ Start to the Year

PopCont12x18 (1)When you think of instrumental concerts at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA) you think of classical, old fashioned music, but in reality, it is more than that. On November 14, 2014 FSSA hosted its annual Pops and Contemporary Concert which includes different styles of music, from all grades in the instrumental studio  that mostly focused on modern music. There were songs performed covering all of the contemporary time periods. It is a concert that is enjoyed by everyone of all ages every year since the song choices are songs that have been popular for decades.

According to the Symphonic Orchestra conductor and music teacher, Mr. Lieberson, it is music with a lot of energy by students, for students, and for everybody. The Pops Concert included performances from Jazz Ensemble, String Orchestra, Symphonic Band, and Symphonic Orchestra, conducted by FSSA’s very own music teachers, Mr. Stevens, Ms. Epstein, Mr. Kronenberg and Mr. Lieberson.

The Pops Concert was different than the usual, according to Mr. Lieberson. The Symphonic orchestra included an electric bass, electric guitar, and a drum set. Songs performed in concert included “Moon River,” performed by the String Orchestra, “The Pirates of the Caribbean” theme song, songs from “Frozen,, “The Chronicles of Narnia,” performed by the Symphonic Band, “Treasure”  by Bruno Mars performed by Symphonic Orchestra, and lastly, “Take the “A” Train,” “Satin Doll,” “Mood Indigo,” and “Harlem Airshaft” performed by the Jazz Ensemble. The concert, also included the songs “Black Jaguar” and “The Last One” composed by our very own students at FSSA Christon Zawodniak and Ralph Mendoza. Every song had its own theme, with a different colors and scenery in the background and different lightings to capture the theme and enjoy the songs being performed more.

Preparation for the concert started as soon as the 2014-2015 school year started. Some of the teachers had chosen the songs even before the school year started. It consisted of many rehearsals that were made to try to perfect and make each piece better.

Senior instrumental major Daysi Sanchez was surprised at how smooth the preparation was for the concert.

“It was pretty relaxed. Compared to how it was when I first came into orchestra,” she said.“I was expecting black out to be intense, but it was actually really fun and most people knew what they were doing.”

It was a great experience for all the instrumental majors, but also upsetting, since this was the last Pops concert for many of the senior instrumental majors. Senior instrumental major Ezgi Cakirca, who is in Wind ensemble and Symphonic Orchestra, said she had mixed emotions.

“It’s kind of upsetting, since I went through so much in this school,”says Ezgi. “I was able to have a glimpse of what a music career might be, and this helped me to cement my desire for music after four years of constant playing. It is just something i enjoy to do.”

Overall this concert was enjoyed by everyone of all ages, since the song selection was made for everyone to know. Some people sang along, some to the “Green Day Medley” and even the little kids in the audience were singing along to the Frozen pieces. It was a very energetic concert, which is the whole point of the Pops and Contemporary concert. To attract audiences of all ages and bring back old jams from the past and mix it with modern songs of today to create a great musical start to the new school year.

– by Martha Paguay ’15