SPASH Music Dept. Kicks Off Winter Concert Series
Left, SPASH Director of Bands Brad Schmidt rehearses a piece for the band’s upcoming winter concert.
Story and photos by Robert Whitmire
The Stevens Point Area Senior High School Music department kicks off their winter holiday concert series on Tuesday, Dec. 10.
The SPASH Choirs, under the direction of Deb Pionek, will take the stage in the SPASH Auditorium at 7:30 pm. The program includes Antonio Vivaldi’s Gloria in Excelsis performed by the Concert Choir along with the SPASH Chamber Orchestra.
The SPASH Singers will perform A Carol for to Sing featuring student soloists Bethany Wiza, Emma Byers and Emily Dachyk. The Counterpointers will follow singing several holiday favorites including I’ll Be Home for Christmas and Baby, It’s Cold Outside and the concert concludes with the Combined Choirs performing Do You Hear What I Hear? SPASH Alum Zach Mixdorf will be the accompanist for the evening.
The SPASH String and Symphony Orchestras, under the direction of Cynthia Kiepert, will present a holiday concert on Thursday, December 12 at 7:30 pm in the SPASH Auditorium. The concert will feature two UW-Stevens Point string faculty members, Steve Bjella, Violin and David Story, Bass. They met with the SPASH Orchestra on December 5 for a two hour rehearsal/clinic in preparation for their performance of Bottesini’s Grand Duo Concertant for Violin, Bass and String Orchestra.
Bjella joined the UWSP music faculty in 1991 and holds the positions of Artist/Teacher of Violin and Professor of Music. He has been active in presenting master-classes at colleges and high schools across the country and currently serves as the Concertmaster of the Central Wisconsin Symphony Orchestra. Story is an assistant professor of string bass and jazz studies at UWSP. He earned his Bachelor of Music Performance from UWSP studying under virtuoso Catalin Rotaru, and his Masters of Music Performance at Western Michigan University. He was a two-time semifinalist in the International Society of Bassists Classical Soloist competition. The String Orchestra will also perform Victor Herbert’s March of the Toys from Babes In Toyland and A Charlie Brown Christmas Medley.
The Symphony Orchestra will perform the 4th Movement (Reformation) of Felix Mendelssohn’s Fifth Symphony and selections from Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker Ballet, Op. 71.
The SPASH Bands, under the direction of Brad Schmidt, round out the concert series performing Tuesday, Dec. 17 at 7:30 pm in the SPASH Auditorium. The Wind Symphony will begin the concert with A Celebration and Song by Robert Sheldon and Frank Ticheli’s Loch Lomond. The band will round out the first half with The Root Beer Rag by Billy Joel featuring the Saxophone section.
The Wind Ensemble will finish the concert with the Circus March In Storm and Sunshine by John Clifford Heed, the popular English Folksong Greensleeves, and Renaissance by James Cumow. Home for the Holidays and An American Christmas Medley will close the concert.