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Millis/Medway - Local Town Pages

Medway High School Arts Department Holds Winter Concert and Art Exhibit

An arrangement of student pieces made from different mediums was on display during the Winter Concert and Art Exhibit at Medway High School on Wednesday, Dec. 8. (Photo courtesy Medway Public Schools)

Principal John Murray is pleased to share that the Medway High School Fine and Performing Arts Department held its Winter Concert and Art Exhibit this week.  
On Wednesday, Dec. 8, the Concert Band and Choral Ensembles performed several pieces for community members. There were 47 student performers in the Concert Band, 26 in the Overtones ensemble and nine in the Undertones ensemble. Student performers from all grades were represented in the ensembles. 
Under the direction of Amanda Webster, the Concert Band performed “Among the Clouds,” a wind piece that is inspired by lucid dreams. These dreams are said to occur more often in people who are especially creative and imaginative. Some dreamers are even said to be aware that they are dreaming, and are then able to control their actions in the dream. 
The band also performed “A Showstoppin’ Christmas,” a medley of Christmas classics. 
Among the pieces performed by the Undertones, under the direction of Ashley Nelson-Oneschuk and with the assistance of pianist Julia Carey, was “Stars I Shall Find.” The piece is based off of poetry by Sara Teasdale and was said to be an example of Teasdale’s wistful yet sorrowful perspective on life.
The Overtones performed “Al Shlosha D’Varim.” The Hebrew lyrics are taken from the text Pirkei Avot (Jewish Moral Code). The words translated mean, “The world is sustained by three things: truth, justice, and peace.”
The Overtones also performed a traditional Cherokee piece, called “Morning Song,” which is a prayer to the rising of the sun and also includes a melody from the song “Amazing Grace.” The song incorporated a hand drum, flute and shaker.
In preparation to perform “Morning Song,” Heather Moretz, a Mi’kmaq descendant and member of the United Native American Cultural Center (UNACC), did a virtual workshop with the Overtones on Nov. 30. Moretz leads the UNACC women’s hand drum group, The Morningstar Singers, and is a veteran choral educator with the Natick Public Schools. Moretz spoke with the students about Native American heritage, traditions and music, including the importance of connection to the land and all living creatures; the power of song and how it is a prayer with no composer as the song is “given” to tribe members from a higher power; and the differences in traditions and songs between tribal nations. 
The choral ensembles Wednesday evening also performed selections from the standard choral repertoire, including traditional concert pieces, rounds and a sea chanty. The combined choirs sang the traditional carol “Do You Hear What I Hear?” In addition to the vocalists, the piece featured student musicians from the band on the saxophone, drum set and various percussion instruments. 
An art walk was also held featuring student pieces that were completed throughout the semester. The exhibit included dozens of pieces by students from all grades. 
Pieces that were on display were completed in the Ceramics 1, Foundations of Art, Drawing and Painting, Fine Arts, Advanced Fine Art, Portfolio and Digital Design courses. The work was completed with mediums including pencil, acrylic paint, oil paint, scratchboard, Photoshop, oil pastels, pastels, colored pencils, and pen and ink.
The art walk was arranged in the main lobby of the high school on tables, display boards and bulletin boards for community members to peruse during the event.
“The Winter Concert and Art Exhibit is a wonderful event that showcases all of our students’ talents and hard work in the fine and performing arts for their families and peers,” Principal Murray said. “Congratulations to our students and teachers Amanda Webster, Ashley Nelson-Oneschuk, Noelle Jackson and Maureen Brodeur on a successful event.”