The musical weekend

Published 9:55 pm Saturday, April 4, 2009

This weekend, it was all about the treble clefs, bass clefs and middle C.

The Suffolk Public Schools All-City Chorus, Strings and Band held their concerts this weekend, celebrating the talent and commitment of Suffolk’s youngest musicians.

Each year, the music teachers from each of the middle and high schools select players from their respective programs to be a part of the all-city team.

Email newsletter signup

On Thursday night, at King’s Fork High School, 200 middle and high school vocalists performed a special concert of songs.

“It went very well,” said Joleen Neighbours, the choral director at Nansemond River High School. “It’s just so nice to see these kids working together. It’s a really good experience for the kids.”

The students from all the music programs were chosen, and then given music to practice with their home school director. Then, before the concert, the students from all the schools met to rehearse together for one, long day.

“It’s a pretty intense day,” Neighbours said.

On Friday night, the 150 middle and high school strings players held this concert at King’s Fork Middle School.

“This is one of the biggest all-cities we have had,” said Sara Jordan, the orchestra teacher from King’s Fork Middle School. “They’re playing some really difficult music and it’s challenging, but they’re doing wonderful with it.”

Finishing up the all-city weekend, another 150 middle and high school band players performed together at King’s Fork High School Saturday afternoon.

On top of having the opportunity to play with fellow students across the city, the students also had the opportunity to play under some new conductors.

For the choruses, the guest conductor for the middle schools was Joey Parrish, the choral director at Grassfield High School, and the guest conductor for the high schools was Nick Nespoli, choral director at Western Branch High School.

For the strings, the middle school and high schools performed together, and their guest conductor was Dr. Lucy Manning from Old Dominion Univeristy.

For the bands, the guest conductor for the middle schools was Brantley Douglas from Christopher Newport University, and the guest conductor for the high schools was Brian Webb, the band director at King’s Fork High School.

“It’s the best of the best,” Neighbours said. “It gives the students the opportunity to work with someone different and that’s part of the reason I like it so much. It’s a very wonderful experience for the students.”