Once again Rectory’s Chorus Director, Donna Bessette, and Director of Instrumental Music, Samantha D’Angelo, and their talented students wowed the audience at last Thursday’s 2014 Rectory Pops Concert (December 11th). If you weren’t in the holiday spirit before you attended the concert, chances are you left the concert in holiday mode!
Highlights of the night were the adorable Elementary School students who sang a swinging rendition of Jose Feliciano’s “Feliz Navidad,” accompanied by the 9th-Grade Guitar Class. I found myself swaying in my seat and grinning from ear to ear, and, as I looked around the audience, it was plain to see that I was not the only one. Later the Guitar Class strummed Justin Bieber’s “Mistletoe,” with a solo singing performance by 8th-grader Min C. that stole the show.
The RECappella group sang a snappy “Santa Baby” and lively “Go Tell It On the Mountain,” followed by the Jazz Ensemble’s foot-tapping number, “When the Saints Go Marching In.” The 5th/6th Grade Band played five holiday favorites, and the Middle School Orchestra played “Greensleeves” and “A Gleeful Christmas,” featuring select trumpets that literally blew me away!
As you listen to these talented young singers and musicians, it’s hard to believe that they are elementary and middle school students. They have such stage presence, and they are just plain GOOD!! But don’t let their almost flawless performances fool you; it takes a lot of hard work and practice…and then more hard work and more practice to accomplish what these young students seem to do so effortlessly.
Much of the credit is due to their amazing teachers, Mrs. Bessette and Ms. D’Angelo, who both work very hard every day to prepare their students to perform at the annual fall, winter, and spring concerts that we get to enjoy. These teachers are talented singers and musicians in their own right, and they have a wonderful rapport with their students. They are dedicated to their students and their craft, and we are very lucky to have them lead the Related Arts Department at Rectory.
When I think of these wonderful teachers, their students, and the finished product they produce at each and every Rectory concert, it reminds me of what my father once told me when he was washing and waxing the family station wagon, as he so often did because he was proud and wanted us to ride in a nice shiny car. “It takes a lot of buffing and elbow grease to make this thing look so polished!” Yes, it did, Dad, and so it still does!