By Andrew Lum
A packed audience gathered in Bedford High School’s auditorium to watch the 2023 Choral Vertical Concert last Wednesday. It was the annual opportunity for family, friends, and residents to support all choral ensembles in Bedford Public Schools, from fifth grade through 12th grade.
Overall, it was a huge success, and it represented somewhat of a return to normal for the Performing Arts Department in 2023 after a few years of pandemic restrictions.
Although a modified concert was held last year, this was the first time that a true vertical concert, complete with an all-grade combined piece, had taken place since February 2020. More than 200 students safely shared the stage without the need for masks or social distancing, and they could celebrate with their families and friends instead of just a couple of parents. In fact, there were so many attendees that some needed to stand due to a lack of seats.
In line with tradition, the night began with fifth-grade chorus and continued “vertically” through sixth-grade chorus, seventh-eighth grade chorus, the BHS Concert Choir, and finally, the BHS Honors Choir.
Three a cappella groups were also featured from BHS: Rolling Tones, Bucapella, and the Bellachords. At the end, students from all grades came on stage and sang one final song together.
The theme for this year’s concert was “Music from the Movies.” Selections included “Do-Re-Mi” from “The Sound of Music,” “How Far I’ll Go” from “Moana,” “Dancing Queen” from “Mamma Mia,” a medley from “Pitch Perfect,” “Million to One” from “Cinderella,” “See the Light” from “Tangled,” among others. The closing number was “This is Me” from “The Greatest Showman.”
The JGMS and BHS choruses are directed by Katrina Faulstich while the fifth-grade chorus is led by Brianna Creamer. Abby Daniels, a student teacher from Gordon College, also conducted a few selections.
Several JGMS and BHS students provided piano accompaniment, including Jaeyul Han, Emily Kang, Cedric Last, Hanna Suzuki, and Eric Zhang. Lane School music teacher Natan Wythe also served as an accompanist.
Faulstich described the concert as a “powerful way to see the progression of vocal groups in the Bedford Public Schools.” She added that it was a “really exciting event for our choral students, especially the younger singers” and for her, “seeing the excitement of all the students during our combined piece was very powerful!”
If you feel that you missed a chance to attend a vertical concert, there are more opportunities coming up. The Strings Vertical concert will be held on Tuesday, March 21, and the Band Vertical Concert is slated for Thursday, March 23. Both concerts will take place in the BHS Auditorium.
In addition, BHS will perform its spring musical, Chicago, from Wednesday, March 15 through Saturday, March 18 and JGMS will put on its musical, Frozen Jr., from Thursday, March 30 through Saturday, April 1.