One June 2nd and June 3rd, RHAM high school held its two annual Pops concerts, choral and orchestral. The two concerts were an extreme success, selling over thirty DVD's of the show on the first night and over thirty five on the second. Audience members were eagerly awaiting what the RHAM students had in store for them as they were anticipating an energetic, lively performance. On the first night, Encore, Chamber Singers, Chorus and various soloists performed both original works and famous compositions. Among the many talented acts, highlights included Lesley Knaack, an active member of Encore playing the piano while singing the melodic, "Imagine" by the Beatles. Lesley was accompanied by Scott Adamson on the bass guitar and the piece could not have been more touching to audience members. The piece was dedicated in memory of Timothy Ketterer, former conductor and beloved friend from all the staff and students at RHAM. Other solos included Xander Kousen's slow motion acoustic version of "Hey Ya", an original guitar piece by Kaitlyn Larsen and a trio ensemble performing, "Baby Get Back." Billy Yeterian and his brother Chris performed "Otherside" by the Red Hot Chili Peppers with tremendous harmony and impressive guitarwork. Encore was quite the show performing songs in perfected harmony including "The Rose" and "I Hope You Dance." Chamber Singers sung "Don't Stop Believin'" that included soloists, Xander Kousen and Kaitlyn Williams on the melody. A guy-girl sing off pleased the crowd as both females and males showed what each other had. The concert closed with a medley from Disney movies which also included soloists such as Alex Crockett and Amber Albin.
June 3rd did not cease to impress the audience by any means. The night opened with the Jazz band performing a famous piece composed by Duke Ellington, and smoothly transitioning into probably the crowd favourite of the night, "Superstition." Solos included Cameron Lutz on guitar, dueling saxophones Nicholas Aubin and Ryan Asbridge, Keyboard Matt Angelo and on trumpet, Lesley Knaack. After jazz the concert took a small shift in solo works including "Road Trippin" performed by Christopher Langlois, Cameron D'Auria and Xander Kousen. This act was followed by Greg Matunas, a very talented acoustic guitarist (whose playing highly resembles that of Michael Hedges) playing "Jump" by Van Halen. Brass quintet was a crowd pleaser with "When I'm Sixty Four" and the Inspector Gadget Mission Impossible theme.
The concert was moving along and the audience was hungry for more. The symphonic band did not cease to deliver as they opened their act with a three piece set from "Fantasia". Serving as a spirited contrast to Fantasia, the band closed their set with "A Day at Disneyland", where Mr. Koukus thought it necessary to don Mickey Mouse gloves and hat in order to match his students Disneyesque attire. The show was going well, with solo pieces again that included Daniel Chapman playing a wonderfully relaxing piece entitled, "Serenade." Personally, this was probably my favourite piece of the night, (aside from Superstition). Wind ensemble ended the show with their second piece bieng a four part movement which included a "Prelude to Act 1", "Habaneras" and "Toreadors Song". Their ending piece was both entertaining and fast paced. "Jungle Fantasy", a deserving title, began with Tuba player and bassist, Scott Adamson making chimpanzee noises in order to "set the mood", so to say, for the jungle like atmosphere. Percussionists including Ben Kopchick and Kevin Garcia lightly tapped the bongos and tambourine as the band suddenly interrupted the calm nature of the piece with sharp tones and offbeat scales. The piece had such a groove to it, and towards the end audience members could not stop clapping. Despite the success and joy that overwhelmed the seniors in the band, they could not help but feel melancholic over their former director, Mr. Ketterer. Seniors experienced mixed feelings towards the end of the show feeling accomplished, overjoyed and a little solemn. Linda Parker and Lesley Knaack presented Mr. Koukus with a collage, a tradition that students have carried on for many years now, in remembering the special times he has shared with the classes.
I greatly enjoyed both of these concerts and felt that the emotion was expressed through the music itself. There was never a time when I felt bored or unentertained. It was a lively, well organized event that astounded audience members and left the Seniors feeling gratified.