The SHS Chorus Photos: Sam Bonsey
By Sam Bonsey
The Sanford Middle School celebrated the spirit of the season with its Winter Concert held at the Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, December 13th. The event showcased the talent and hard work of the school’s band and chorus members in front of a packed audience. The 6th grade band was the first on stage and “played their pieces very well,” said Dee Ames, the 5th and 6th grade band director. “I couldn’t have asked for better. All sections played great, and we all loved ‘Santa the Barbarian’.” She added that she was especially proud of Maya Kingdom.
7th grade band members followed under the guidance of 7th and 8th Grade Band Director Erica Scarano. “I am so proud of all of the kids that performed last night. Dee and I have been working very hard the last few years to build our programs in quality and quantity. I believe that last night was a true testament to our hard work and dedication, and the amazing support from the Sanford community and our incredible SMS staff and administration.”
During a special moment of the 8th grade band performance students honored classmate Chace Fromwiller, who recently passed away from cancer, by performing the “Imperial March” from Star Wars because he was a big fan of the movie. A group of students cut and prepared ribbons for the performers and audience members. The band also prepared a speech for the audience and signed a poster for Chace’s family.
Following a brief intermission, it was time for the chorus members to shine. The 5th grade chorus, directed by Music Teacher Katie Spagnolo, began their segment with a performance of some folk songs.
The finale of the Winter Concert was put on by the voices of the 6th, 7th and 8th grade chorus members as they sang “Goin’ On a Sleigh Ride,” and “January Hymn” under the direction of Music Teacher Justin Pietruch.
“Our Winter Concert was a huge success,” Pietruch said. “All of our students performed well for a packed house and a wonderfully supportive and receptive audience. I’m especially proud of the chorus students’ level of professionalism and look forward to our performances in the spring.”
The Sanford Middle School Band
The Sanford High School Chorus and Band ensembles held their Spirit of the Season Holiday Concert at the Performing Arts Center the following night. The chorus, chamber singers, and chorale took the stage first, led by the SHS Director of Choirs Ryan Geary. Their selections included solos by several of the singers. “The winter concert was a wonderful showing of the hard work the students put in every single day. The community engagement, administrative involvement, and a commitment to excellence that Sanford has is unmatched,” said Geary.
Intermission was followed by the SHS’ band performances led by SHS Band Director Hailey Francouer, who said the jazz ensemble had a lot of fun with their whole set, especially “Who Let the Elves Out.” The wind ensemble followed. Francouer said she was very proud of her students for performing what she called “some really difficult music.” The concert band concluded the festivities with lively performances of some favorites.
“This was the first time we’ve had more than one instrumental ensemble perform in a school concert,” Francoeur said. “I am so proud of these students for stepping up to this challenge. They were able to have fun on stage and perform at a high level. It’s amazing to see how far the program has come here, and I’m so excited for the future.”