- Performing Arts
By Autri Basu ’23
The Allegro Council, Lawrenceville’s premier musical collective, is kicking off this Spring Term with the April Concert Series, featuring orchestra on Friday, April 14, at 7 p.m. in the Kirby Arts Center; choir on Friday, April 21, at 7 p.m. in the Chapel, and jazz on Friday, April 28 at 7:00 p.m. in the Clark Music Center. According to Allegro Council President Grant Shueh ’23, these performances will highlight “the increasing diversity of ensembles we have on campus,” as in addition to Lawrenceville’s traditional jazz bands and orchestras, multiple smaller, more experimental groups will also be performing.
The Spring Orchestra Concert will premiere “she dances towards the light,” a piece written by 17-year-old Philadelphia composer Adah Kaplan. Over the past few months, Kaplan has visited Lawrenceville’s orchestra rehearsals in order to help with the interpretation of the piece. First flute player Tiffany Wen ’23 finds the piece “really interesting” because of “how [Kaplan] melded different instruments together that composers normally wouldn’t,” like in one section where only the flute, percussion, and trumpet play, creating what she described as a “strange but cool” effect.
Meanwhile, the Spring Choral Concert will include a highly diverse range of music, from jazz-inspired tunes to classical pieces that were written in Latin. However, the concert is especially significant because it is the last concert for all of the Fifth Formers, so, according to Shueh, “a bunch of [them] have solos” as a celebration of their time performing at Lawrenceville. As Lawrentians vocalist Alistair Lam ’23 reflected, “Having seniors perform soli is very special as it not only signifies the leadership and role-modeling that younger members can aspire towards; it reminds us of the beauty of collective music-making—that the solo performance will be not be complete without the rest of the group.”
Finally, the Spring Jazz Concert will feature two new student ensembles, including one focusing on playing vocal jazz and another, created in partnership with Lawrenceville Music Society, that aims to highlight student-written music and improvisation. Shueh, who plays in the latter group, will be playing an original piece created by the group, as well as some arrangements of more “classical jazz” works.
To anyone interested in attending the concerts, Shueh said, “Support [your] friends and community, and hear some amazing music!” He noted that “This year…because of how much talent [Lawrenceville is] saturated with, there are a lot of performers [who] go under the radar,” but during these performances, people “get a chance to really see what sort of hidden talents [their] classmates have.” Looking ahead, Shueh mentioned the Spring Allegro Show and Fifth Form Allegro Show (possibly taking place during Senior School Meeting) as some other highlights of this upcoming term.
For additional information, contact Lisa M. Gillard H'17, director of public relations, at firstname.lastname@example.org.