A Night of Magic and Music

A Night of Magic and Music

Alyna Kim, Feature / Opinion Editor

The West High School Choral Department brought the whimsical sounds of Disney to the Pavilion last Friday night.

The Pavilion floor was filled with enthusiastic friends and family.  “The Magical Music of Disney” concert is the last concert of the year.  Mr. Antone Rodich, the choir director, opened up the stage with a short speech on how Disney magic inspired him to become a musician in his childhood, and the concert began with a Star Wars Medley arranged by Ashley Jimenez (12).

The audience listened rapt as the singers from both Aristocracy and Concert Choir filed out onto the stage in full Disney costume.  While everyone wore a costume, only the soloists and duet partners had specifically themed costumes.  Many of them dressed according to their theme, from Eunice Chong (12) and Erin Lee (12) in Stitch onesies to Brent Neldner (12) in a full tuxedo to emulate the candelabra butler Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast.

“I thought the concert went amazingly,” Mr. Rodich said.  “The choir department hasn’t had a pop concert like this before, and I knew that this would be a new tradition that the kids would enjoy.  When you learn music in the pop realm, it’s something they’ll enjoy learning and want to sing.”  The turn out for The Magical Music of Disney concert almost doubled that of the turnout for the previous concerts this year.  “[It’s] proof that what I’ve added onto the tradition here for the choir department—it’s working.”  He expressed excitement over future growth.

Compared to previous years, Magical Music allowed far more solo and duet pieces. Erica Clark’s (12) rendition of “God Help the Outcasts,” one of the focal pieces from the movie The Hunchback of Notre Dame, received much cheering and applause, and was one of the most moving pieces of the night.   Mai Fujimoto (12) and So Kanazawa’s (12) rendition of High School Musical 3’s “Can I Have This Dance” brought back some nostalgia.

Not every song was serious, of course.  The Aristocracy Men also sang their rendition of “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” from Mulan, and the Combined Barbershop sang “Under the Sea” from The Little Mermaid just before the intermission.

The Mickey Mouse band that accompanied the Choir was made up of Miranda Bie (11) on piano, Mr. Vince Banim on bass, Danny Sheliga (12) on guitar, and Tommy McQueen (12) on drums.

“This was their last concert, but it definitely didn’t feel like one,” said Chris Ludwig (11).  “It didn’t feel like an ‘oh, goodbye,’ it felt like a ‘we had a good run and it was awesome.’  Sometimes they’ll have a final drum line and everyone will start crying, but with this, you know that the bonds that they’ve made as still there.  I guess having a big anchor like Disney gives them something they can really bond with, and I think that’s really awesome.  It shows that those bonds aren’t just going to break.”

According to Erica Clark, “Choir is a dying program,” but Mr. Rodich worked hard throughout the year to cultivate it into a growing one—and succeeded.  “We’re happy to see it expanding again,” she said with a smile as she handed him flowers during the finale.