Night of the Arts: What Happens Before the Big Reveal

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A typical rehearsal day in Chamber Choir where Annie Hobson, the new chorus teacher, vigorously conducts choir students. PHOTO BY THIERS.

BY HUNTER THIERS

Every Mariemont High School student and staff member knows what Night of the Arts is, but what many don’t know is how much work goes into producing one of the biggest concerts of the year.  This year, Night of the Arts will take place on May 18th at 7:00 PM in the MHS auditorium.

Each music class works intensively on pieces for the concert, while some of the art courses start preparing projects and portfolios at the beginning of the year.

“I’ve prepared for Night of the Arts through just working hard to know our songs well and trying to have a majority of my art pieces completed,” says senior Mauri Hogan, who is a member of both AP Art and Chamber Choir.

“We just make sure to be aware of how much time we have left and start practicing very early.  The early notice also allows us to really grow to love the music before we get in a time crunch,” says sophomore Erin Cash, a chamber orchestra member.

“I have been individually practicing some of the pieces because I have only played for a little less than a year,” says sophomore Cohen Bailey, a new cello player in concert orchestra.

“To prepare we [concert orchestra] sit together and listen to the potential songs and we vote on which one sounds the best.  Once we pick, we will have class rehearsals as well as sectionals.  Occasionally, we have early morning rehearsals too,” says senior Alexis Gilliand, another concert orchestra member.

“We [band] will run through the piece once to get a basic feel for how it should sound and then Mr. Canter breaks it into parts and we will run the spots that need the most work,” says Marie Schneider, a band member.

Finding the perfect amount of time for each performing group is difficult, but the directors work hard by moving around time slots to make sure each group is able to perform what they want.

“We [the music teachers] go about planning Night of the Arts as a team.  We are kind of free to do what we want with the time frame we have– they try to tell us each group has this many minutes– but it is hard to find enough time for everyone to perform what they want, ” says Mrs. Khamis, the district’s orchestra teacher.

This year, two music instructors have special circumstances. Annie Hobson began teaching at Mariemont in February and Rick Canter will stop teaching for Mariemont in May.

“The students are really hard workers and we have worked really hard every day in class,” says Hobson.

To prepare her chorus classes, Ms. Hobson teaches the concert pieces during the week, give or a take a few days that are used for sectionals and project preparation.

“I’m trying not to think a whole lot about leaving because it is going to be pretty emotional for me ,” says Canter. “We are going to start preparing tomorrow (April 17th) and they are going to get some goals that they need to achieve within the next couple of weeks so they can get prepared ahead of time,” says Canter.

Canter’s band class just started preparing Friday, April 17th, as they were focusing on the joint Indian Hill concert for the past few weeks.

Each class has a select group of pieces for Night of the Arts, some of the chorus favorites include:

“I think ‘We Sing’ is my favorite song and my favorite painting is my large sweets canvas,” says Hogan.

“I really like ‘I am Not Yours’ because it is really challenging and it is a college level piece that the students are working really hard on,” says Hobson.

Orchestra also has a good selection of pieces to share with their audience.

“Right now it is the Vivaldi, but I also like the ‘River Song’.  It is really beautiful.  It has an Irish part in the middle with a lot of ornamentation, and it includes everyone,” says Khamis.

“Personally, my favorite piece is the ‘Cello Song’ by Piano Guys because it is a piece that incorporates Bach’s first cello suite’s prelude and ‘Ave Maria’.  Bach’s cello suites are what inspired me to play cello again, so it is a privilege to play it,” says Bailey.

The band class is bringing back a few class favorites as well as some new pieces picked by the seniors.

“We are playing a slow piece called the ‘Dragoon’s Farewell’ which we played last year and it is a pretty powerful piece, so that will be a lot of fun.  We are also playing a really challenging piece called ‘In Flight’ that will also be fun to play,” says Canter.

“One of our concert pieces is a past favorite of ours called ‘Dragoon’s Farewell’.  Another of our pieces is a new piece that all of the seniors chose,” says Schneider.

Regardless of the course, everyone involved works hard to put on a good show by practicing their pieces and organizing their portfolios.