Sounds of the season to highlight Johnston High's Winter Holiday Concert

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There will be lots of talent on display tonight, beginning promptly at 7 o’clock, inside Johnston High School’s Auditorium.

A total of 150 students, who specialize in a number of areas, will take part in the Music Department’s annual Winter Holiday Concert.

From the time the noted Concert Chorus sings Antonio Vivaldi’s “Gloria” until the Panthers Concert Band, under the direction of Ronald Lamoureux, performs Leroy Anderson’s “A Christmas Festival,” the audience will be treated to vocals and merry music that will get even the grumpiest of scrooges in the holiday spirit.

“‘A Christmas Festival’ is a tradition with our concert band,” said Lamoureux, who has the Johnston High Music Department ranked among the best programs in Rhode Island. “The piece was written for the Boston Pops and legendary director Arthur Fiedler back in 1950, and our kids have been playing it for upwards of two decades.”

While Lamoureux acknowledged “A Christmas Festival” is challenging for any young musician, he emphasized “our kids love doing it, especially since this is such a classic piece.”

The Concert Band will also play Anderson’s “The Syncopated Clock,” which was arranged by Marty Schubert, as well as other popular pieces like “The Night Before Christmas,” “Somewhere in My Memory” and “The Polar Express.”

One of the Concert Band’s trumpet players is ranked number one among high school trumpeters. Carlos Fragoso, who was recently crowned Homecoming King at Johnston High, received that prestigious honor during the Nov. 23 Rhode Island Music Education Association’s annual All-State Auditions. Along with 12 other Johnston High students, he will participate in the acclaimed All-State Concert in March.

The students who earned All-State honors along with Fragoso are Anthony Andriole, voice and French horn; Ashlyn Banno, voice, alto and voice, soprano; Paul Conte, voice, tenor; Destine Costa, voice, alto; Grayson Costa, voice, alto; Victor Fragoso, clarinet; Kebba Gaye, voice, bass; Mackenzie Hannah, voice, alto; Genisis Lune Olivo, voice, soprano; Isabella Parrillo, voice, soprano; and Justin Salvatore, tuba.

The six-member Percussion Ensemble will follow the Concert Chorus opening, while the Treble Choir, which includes another 16 talented music students, will perform James Pierpont’s famed “Jingle Bells.”

Also, in keeping with tradition, tonight’s concert will feature what Lamoureux called “another fantastic first,” as the Fabulous Freshmen – Melanie Capraro and Ayomide Josephine Olagundoye – will sing. Tyler Renaud and Josh Galeas will play the guitar and ukulele, respectively, and rounding out the frosh performance will be Domenic Whitten on bass and Herbie Constant on drums. All are students from Oliver Reid’s Level 4 Guitar Class.

“They picked up the tune from in class but ran with it to add the drums, ukulele and bass, and these kids stay after school a few days a week to work together,” Lamoureux said. “Mr. [Matt] Gingras had the idea to add the vocalists and the two ladies volunteered. This should be a fun part of the concert.”

Additionally, senior Alexia Jankura will perform “Zigeunerleben,” which is Robert Schumann’s timeless song that serves as a reminder of his love for poetry and the way in which he endeavored to capture it.

“Alexis is most excited to perform this piece,” Lamoureux said. “It’s pretty to do all the German pronunciations.”

Admission to the concert will cost $5, and doors open at 6:30 p.m.

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