The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

The Student News Site of Washington International School

International Dateline

Behind the Scenes of the WIS Winter Concert

Winter Assembly Concert, the concert for the students about a month before the Winter Concert

Every year, the WIS community holds a Winter Concert about a week after the end of winter break. This year it’s on January 15th. Both students and faculty are excited and started to prepare at the beginning of the school year Some of the students are working the technology aspect of the event, some are practicing for the performance, and the faculty is leading the students in getting their songs prepared.     

Behind the scenes of the big event has a lot of aspects, including preparations and the feelings of students. In fact, John Munt and Joshua Frayer, the band and vocal teachers respectively, started their preparations before the school year started. They have been choosing songs, such as “Dancing Queen” from “Mamma Mia”, “Rather Be” by Clean Bandit ft. Jess Glynne, “Purple Rain” by Prince, “Der Tanz” by Franz Schubert, “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms and “Soul Bossa Nova” by Quincy Jones, then practicing them with their classes. They will also have a chance to practice performing a few songs in front of an audience in the Winter Assembly Concert right before the winter break.

The Upper and Middle School music departments don’t get many chances to showcase their work over the year. The faculty of the department uses this event as a final exam for their students, to see not only how they do in front of audiences, but also how they progressed over the semester. Frayer monitors how the students are progressing by videotaping their rehearsals throughout the semester as the event is a big part of the students’ grades.

“It’s the one time of year where the music department in the Upper School and Middle School…[can] show what we do in classes” Frayer said.

The vocal and band students are preparing for the concert as well. Vocal students, including me, are confident and prepared. Our rehearsals have been going well, and the students are very excited about Munt’s song choices.

“The students are really happy usually and feel very self-confident in their performing, and it’s fun,” Munt said.    
The two teachers, Munt and Frayer, have not only been preparing their own students to be concert-ready, but they have also been coordinating rehearsals. Munt “borrows” some band kids to help accompany some of his own songs during his vocal practice.     

Even if students are not performing, many are still participating in the preparations, such as  in stage tech, which is behind the scenes of music events. They make sure everything works. An example of one of those students is Emily Muenzer, who has worked in that area for four years.

“Tech prepares for the concert by making sure all of the microphones are working and also by making sure that the speakers are working,” Muenzer said.

The main reason everyone loves the Winter Concert is the wide array of songs, and everyone enjoys at least one. For instance, Mr. Munt likes pop and acapella. The parents might like older songs, while the students might enjoy more recent pop songs. Frayer and Munt also include at least one international song.

“Students perform music from all different styles, at least in jazz, we do latin music, we do swing, we do rock n’ roll, so I try to think about different styles within jazz, to kinda get those students to learn those styles,” Frayer said.    

The Winter Concert is a fun way to let the students interested in singing, playing instruments, and working with the technology showcase their skills and talents. Munt feels  “warm and fuzzy” from the total confidence of the students. Everyone should be part of this experience, on January 15th, 2019, the day of Washington International School’s Winter Concert.

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