Choral and Instrumental Concerts Provide a Final Farewell for Seniors

Serena Kok Sey Tjong, Staff Writer

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On Tuesday, May 16, the chorus, Jazz Singers, and the Jazz Band performed in the spring concert, their last performance of the year and, for some, their final performance at Paint Branch. Under the instruction of Ms. Mitchell and Mr. Kirchoff, the groups performed a series of music they have been practicing all year.

The concert began with the concert choir performing five songs ranging from requiem hymns to spirituals. They began with the cheerful “Lion Sleeps Tonight,” continued with the three songs that earned them superior ratings and a first-place trophy in competition, and ended with the celebratory “Proud.” The group received a rousing round of applause after each song, and some audience members even requested encores.

The men’s chorus followed with three songs, including Shai’s “If I Ever Fall in Love,” before the women’s chorus took the stage. The women also performed three songs, including Bette Midler’s “The Rose.” The Jazz Band then performed their set of music, five songs that included “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got that Swing” and “Blue Skies,” earning an invigorating round of applause.

Paint Branch’s show choir group, the Jazz Singers, finished off the main event with a brand-new set of songs as well as a throwback from the winter concert. Their set included “We Go Together” and “Hand Jive” from Grease, with the women performing “Run the World” by Beyoncé and then finishing with “Sing” by Pentatonix.

The concert ended with the distribution of certificates and chords to seniors, a heartfelt gift for Ms. Mitchell, and a tearful commencement song.  The Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Orchestra took their final lap two days later, on Thursday, May 18. For his final concert at Paint Branch, Mr. Kirchoff led his musicians through ten pieces, recognized the seniors and Tri-M members in each group, and made sure to thank his fellow teachers and his students for all of their hard work and support.

The Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Orchestra took their final lap two days later, on Thursday, May 18. For his final concert at Paint Branch, Mr. Kirchoff led his musicians through ten pieces, recognized the seniors and Tri-M members in each group, and made sure to thank his fellow teachers and his students for all of their hard work and support.

The concert began with a combination of the Concert Band and Symphonic Band performing three songs, including “The Great Locomotive Chase” and “Journey.” The Concert Orchestra followed with four songs, including “Blue Ridge Run,” “New World Symphony,” and “Ashokan Farewell,” which began with a violin solo performed by senior Leya Abraham. Between each performance, Mr. Kirchoff provided a short explanation of each piece, handed out chords, and recognized the achievement and future plans of the seniors.

The Symphonic Band concluded the concert with three songs, which included “Adagio for Winds” and “They Shall Run and Be Free.” They also performed “American Overture for Band” which, Mr. Kirchoff noted, was the hardest piece the band had ever done and which they performed beautifully.

While Mr. Kirchoff has decided to leave Paint Branch, he made sure to thank, before he goes, the many people who have worked hard to strengthen the PB Music Program, including Ms. Mitchell and Ms. Perkins. As for his final request, he hopes that the community will continue to support the band and the music department even after he’s gone.

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Choral and Instrumental Concerts Provide a Final Farewell for Seniors