A joyful holiday noise

G-R band and choir host their annual Winter Concert

The Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School Concert Choir closed out an evening full of holiday musical entertainment at the 5-12 Band and Choir Winter Concert on Dec. 6. The senior choir performed three songs and are pictured clapping to the chorus of the Lindsey Buckingham 80s holiday pop tune, “Holiday Road.” Photo by Darvin Graham

The sounds of warm holiday music filled the halls of the Gladbrook-Reinbeck Junior/Senior High School on Monday, Dec. 6.

The G-R Fine Arts Department held its annual Winter Band and Choir Concert for grades 5-12.

The concert began with performances from the 6th Grade and Junior High bands who played two pieces each.

The G-R High School Band, under the direction of Band Director Laura Sabotta, took the stage next to perform three pieces beginning with a spritely rendition of Anne McGinty’s “Fanfaron Overture”.

Next it was the classic folk song “Simple Gifts” played with all the swelling harmony afforded to a classical arrangement with brass, percussion and wind instruments.

G-R Choir Director Cecilia Shutt addresses the audience as the High School Choir is all smiles during the conclusion of the 5-12 Band and Choir Winter Concert on Monday, Dec. 6. Photos by Darvin Graham

To close the band portion of the evening the High School Band performed “A Crazy Mixed-Up Christmas Concert” arranged by David Shaffer.

The piece provides a comical amalgamation of standard Christmas carols strung together in a unique medley.

A brief intermission allowed time for the crowd and students to change gears from band to choir.

The 5th and 6th Grade Choir took the stage first performing a nautical-themed set of songs beginning with titles like “Fire Down Below”, “Pirate Story” and “Seashell Tell me your Tale”.

The Junior High Choir then brought three pieces to the stage for the annual concert. The choir, who sang in two parts, began with “Mary, Where is your Baby?” by Dan R. Edwards followed by a beautiful piece titled “In the Dark of December” by Lon Beery.

The G-R Junior High Choir gets in the groove during the last song of their set. The 15-member choir sang ‘Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree’ complete with choreography.

For the second song the choir was accompanied by Vanessa Arvizu-Ersland on piano with a flute solo by high schooler Carly Wilson.

The Junior High set ended with the upbeat standard “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”.

Finally, the G-R High School Choir, under the direction of Choir Director Cecilia Shutt, closed out the evening performing three songs. First it was the magical Ukranian carol, “Carol of the Bells”.

The penultimate number was an emotional hymn from Iowa composer Elaine Hagenberg titled “O Love” that spoke of the hope and heartache of love.

The crowd was sent home on a lighter note as the choir belted out the lines to the 1983 Lindsey Buckingham Christmas hit, “Holiday Road.”

High School flute soloist Carly Wilson accompanies the G-R Junior High Choir during their performance of ‘In the Dark of December’ during the 5-12 Winter Band and Choir Concert on Dec. 6.

Monday’s concert was the final Winter Concert for a group of band and choir seniors that included Brandon Strohbehn, Zane Stice, Paul Brockett, Ellie Smiley and Braden Vanderkolk.

The band and choir groups will next perform during the spring semester for their annual Spring Concert on May 9.

Starting off the choir portion of the evening was the 5th-6th Grade Choir who sang five songs. The first three were songs of the sea and the final two were in the Christmas holiday theme.