High School Musicians Perform at Winterfest
The concert marked the first for new High School Choral Director Brian Gilbertie.
Brian Gilbertie led the school's a capella singers and chorus for the first time as the WMHS choral director.
In the front row of the auditorium sat Gilbertie's six-week-old daughter, Alexandra, at her first concert here.
With Alexandra were her mother, Cinzia, and older sister, Ginevra, 3, and her maternal grandparents, Paola and Angelo Varola, who are visiting from Italy, from Lecce. That's in the south of Italy, in the heel of the boot of the country, map-wise, Cinzia explained. Cinzia said she usually comes to all her husband's concerts.
The school's Tanner Marching Band and Concert Band, under the direction of Jack Tully, also performed. Artwork by WMHS and Joyce Middle School students hung outside the auditorium.
Gilbertie is hardly a stranger in the city school system. He moved to the high school after 15 years at Kennedy Middle School.
"After 15 years (at Kennedy), it was necessary to do something different" to try to stay fresh, he said before the concert.
Tully has led the high school bands for 13 years.
Among the members of the audience were Ruth and Richard Gariepy. Their daughter, Nicole, a senior, sang with the chorus and played a flute solo with the concert band.
Lisa and Bill Sullivan's daughter, Emily, a WMHS freshman, sang in the chorus. The show will be great, Lisa predicted before the program began, because of choral director Gilbertie.
Farther back in the auditorium sat Sam and Krystin Pappas, twins, and friend Amy Movsessian, all seventh graders at Kennedy Middle School. Sam said she came to see her sister, Alexandra (Allie), a high school 10th grader, perform. Allie sings in the chorus.
School Supt. Mark Donovan and high school Principal Joseph Finigan also attended the concert.
Still another first occurred at Winterfest. For the first time in 45 years, Robert Hodgson was not at the helm as the school's director of fine arts. He retired this past June.
Gilbertie said Hodgson left "big shoes to fill." Gilbertie also lauded former Joyce Middle School Choral Director Marilyn Drew, who retired in 2008, and Sarah Bow, who succeeded her, and Beatrice Bloodworth, choral director and music teacher at the Kennedy Middle School.
Hodgson attended the concert.
"My kids and associates invited me," he said.