Chorus Concert was a glowing start to the Festival of the Arts

Chorus Concert was a glowing start to the Festival of the Arts

The spring-like weather outside Bridgewater-Raritan High School had no impact on Matt McCarthy when he proudly spoke about the opening performance of the Festival of the Arts.

The crown- jewel event of the fine and performing arts program in the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District launched its 2024 edition when the Chorus Concert was held on the evening of Wednesday, March 13, at the high school’s main gymnasium.

The audience, which featured family and friends, jammed into Vaughn Stapleton Gymnasium to enjoy the gifted singing of school district students from Grades 4 through 12.

Mr. McCarthy, who is the school district’s Supervisor of Arts Education and the director of the Festival of the Arts, relished his review of the first of  the four performances in the Festival of the Arts. 

“There was so much warmth throughout the concert as our students lifted their voices to the rafters,’’ Mr. McCarthy said.

He not only was entertained by the songs but by the passion and attentiveness that were also delivered throughout the evening,

“The best part for me was seeing the look on the faces of our younger students as their older counterparts performed. It's without a doubt that events like this encourage and inspire students to continue making the arts a part of their life,’’ Mr. McCarthy revealed.

Once the Star-Spangled Banner was superbly sung by the Combined High School Choirs, the students delighted the crowded arena, first from the youngest and all the way through to the oldest choralists.

The Fourth Grade Festival Chorus, which was conducted by Music Teachers Rina Sklar of the Hamilton Primary School and Brianna Super of the Milltown and Adamsville Primary Schools, kicked off the performance. 

The students from Eisenhower and Hillside formed the Intermediate School Festival Chorus, which was conducted by the Choral Directors, Lisa Rotondi from Eisenhower and Tony Sgro from Hillside.

Gabriele Hingelberg, who is the Middle School Choral Director, and her 7th and 8th Grade students followed with their terrific voices.

The Combined High School Choirs, under the guidance of Choral Director Dr. John Wilson, delivered a lively and spectacular performance while the high school’s Lorelei Ensemble also presented a sound showing.

A Blessing was then performed by the Combined District Chorus and conducted by Alexander Holland, the Music Director at Bradley Gardens and Adamsville Primary Schools.

The conductors from all of the school’s choral groups were accompanied during the performance by Chris Fortin, who is a pianist from Somerset County and who performs at local school concerts; Paul Conrad is a  staff collaborative pianist from Rutgers University; and Tom DiGiovanni, a conductor and pianist from the Phillipsburg area.

The splendid efforts of the directors and the students and the overflowing audience in the gym supported Mr. McCarthy’s closing remarks.

“We are fortunate to belong to a community that values everything the arts bring to the education experience,’ he said. “Art doesn't happen in a vacuum. Intellectual curiosity feeds the arts and the arts provide a powerful mode of exploring and reflecting on various disciplines. Thank you to all the parents and families who joined us.”

Next up for the Festival of the Arts will be the Orchestra Concert on Wednesday, March 20, and the Band Concert on Thursday, March 21. Both shows will start at 7 p.m. and will be staged in the high school’s main gym. 

The fourth and final performance will be the Visual Arts Exhibit on Wednesday, April 17, at the high school gym and cafeteria.

Click on below to view the entire program at the Choral Concert.

Festival of the Arts Chorus Concert March 13

This link will take viewers right to the concert's live stream on BRTV.

BRTV production of Festival of the Arts Chorus Concert