Hark! The Hinsdale Devils sing
Music teacher Jen Burkemper calls for a holding a high note at choir rehearsal. The Treble Choir and the Symphonic Orchestra at Hinsdale Central High School. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Hinsdale Central: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 19 in auditorium, 55th and Grant streets. Tickets, sold at the door, are $2 for adults and $1 for student.
Hinsdale Middle: 7 p.m. Dec. 13, 100 S. Garfield Ave.
Clarendon Hills Middle: Concerts and art show, 7:30-8:30 p.m. Dec. 18, 301 Chicago Ave. Student art projects will be displayed in the foyer of the building for viewing.
Butler Junior High: Band and choir concert 708 p.m. Dec. 13, 2801 York Road, Oak Brook.
Nazareth Academy: Concert Choir and Progressions (vocal jazz choir) for a traditional Lessons and Carols concert at 2 p.m. Dec. 16, 1209 W. Ogden, LaGrange Park.
Updated: January 14, 2013 6:14AM
HINSDALE — With sleigh bells and saxophones, Hinsdale Central students will perform one of several school holiday concerts.
“This is an opportunity for someone to come in and hear every area of our music department at one time,” said Jeff Wirtz, chairman of the department.
Most concerts feature just one band or a single choir. But the Dec. 19 concert will include five choirs, composed of 175 students; three bands with 195 members; and the 125 musicians in the symphonic orchestra, Wirtz said.
Although it’s a holiday concert, the music will not be strictly old chestnuts.
“We try to make the music new and fresh, but include traditional songs that people have fond memories of, so it’s a combination,” Wirtz said.
Besides Christmas carols, the students sing or play other pieces from their “regular performance-level” repertoire, he said.
“We want to acknowledge there are people with non-Christian beliefs who deserve the opportunity to hear non-holiday music at this time of the year,” he said.
The program was selected with input from the performers. However, if the teachers left the final decision up to the students, “they would all pick what they hear on their MP3 players, which is not the best for a classic ensemble like a symphonic orchestra. So the teachers and the students work together to find the best fit.”
For the most part, the bands and the orchestra will play instrumental numbers separately from the choirs, whose members will sing together as one group. The final number, however, will be a medley of holiday carols performed by the bands and choirs on stage together.
“It’s a wonderful opportunity to hear talented students perform wonderful music at a great time of the year,” Wirtz said.