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Winter Choir Concert

For many people, the one thing that gets you ready for the holidays (after putting up your decorations) is the music! On Friday, December 7th, Ferguson’s choir put on a spectacular winter show and filled the auditorium with guests and wonderful holiday music to get everyone in a jolly spirit for the coming weeks.

The night of the concert saw the chorus room and the music hallway buzzing with activity and emotion as different choirs rehearse their assigned songs and make some finishing touches to their performances. Slowly but surely, and starting as early as 6:30 P.M., the auditorium began to fill with friends, family, and students from John A. Ferguson who came to enjoy music so carefully prepared by the choir students and their director.

Choir director, Ms. Karen Perez, speaks fondly of being able to teach her groups of singers and preparing them for the various performances they will do throughout the year. “They can get a bit distracted when it comes to learning [the music],” she says, “but when I remind them of how great this experience of the concert is, they always pull it together.”

For this winter concert, Perez and her students worked very hard to select appropriate songs that convey the holiday mood while also reflecting the various kinds of music her different choirs sing. For example, Contemporary Choir is an advanced choir that sings pop songs and less traditional chorus music so they covered “Last Christmas”, a song popularised by the group Wham!, and “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” which is a Christmas classic and favourite of many.

The beginner’s choir, or Concert Chorus, sang a traditional Hebrew song by the name of “Al Shlosha D’Varim” to celebrate the Jewish festivities of the season with great energy and appreciation, and led to a spectacular opening performance for these first-time choir students.

Both the all women’s and mixed a cappella groups (named Nothin’ But Treble and Uncaged respectively) were the highlight of the concert for many. Without any background music or instruments, these two groups performed energetic renditions of christmas favourites such as “You’re A Mean One Mr. Grinch” (Uncaged) and the Pentatonix version of “White Winter Hymnal” (Nothin’ But Treble). They also brought the house down with pop hits like Ariana Grande’s “Dangerous Woman” (Nothin’ But Treble) and Camila Cabello’s “Havana” (Uncaged). Audience members sang and clapped along to these familiar tunes, filling the auditorium with cheers when their set was over.

Ferguson’s more advanced choirs, the Falcon Singers (a mixed choir) and Lady Falcon Singers (an all-women’s choir) sang classical choir songs they learned this year. “Enter His Gates”, composed by Mark Butler, was performed by the Falcon Singers and “How Can I Keep From Singing”, composed by Robert Lowry and performed by the Lady Falcon Singers, was a hit with the audience.

The winter choir concert ended with a moving and dramatic arrangement of the traditional Hallelujah chorus which Falcons, Lady Falcons, and other chorus students sang all together. Alumni in the audience, and anyone else who knew the song, were invited on stage to sing along.

As is traditional for the Hallelujah chorus, when the music started, the remaining audience members were on their feet. With the last notes of this traditional chorus ringing out and filling the auditorium, both singers and the audience greeted the holidays and prepared themselves for the start of a beautiful season.

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