The music departments throughout MCAS united to showcase their students and spread holiday cheer once again at the annual holiday concert, One City One Sound, at MCHS on December 3, 2015.
This year’s concert included 493 voices in a chorus of sixth graders from all eight Michigan City elementary schools, 200 voices in a chorus of students from Barker and Krueger Middle Schools, 115 voices in the Michigan City High School Treble Chorale and “City Singers,” three hand bell players in the Michigan City High School “City Ringers,” 157 instrumentalists in a seventh and eighth grade band, and 108 instrumentalists from the MCHS Cadet, Concert, and Symphonic Bands. Each of these students spent weeks preparing for the concert.
At the concert, all of these students came together to perform several songs. After a brief speech by superintendent, Dr. Barbara Eason Watkins, students went on to perform songs such as Anglels in the Bleak Midwinter, Carol of the Bells, The Little Drummer Boy, Frosty the Snowman, and even Soundtrack Highlights from The Hunger Games.
One of the main reasons why MCAS puts this concert on is because it promotes the arts in the community. As band student and junior, Kaelie Winebrenner, says, “The concert is important because it furthers the music program, and it shows the community how music impacts our lives and how it impacts the lives of the members of the community.”
The concert also strengthens the bond between the older students within the music department and the younger students within the department. As high school choir director, Michelle Howisen, says, “I feel that the high school music department benefits from our OCOS concert because it gives the students in the middle school bands and choirs and the elementary students a chance to see the upper level bands and choirs . It also enables these younger students to realize that, with hard work and dedi ation, you can really improve and be a part of something greater than yourself. That is what music is all about, creating something from nothing and emotionally impacting yourself and your audience.”
Richard Merrick, band teacher at MCHS, also agrees that the concert shows the community how music impacts the lives of community members and the lives of students within the music departments. The fact that the concert also showcases student talents is the “icing on the cake” for him.
Not only is this concert meant to benefit the community, it also positively affects each student individually. For example, senior and City Singer of four years, Victoria Myhand, said, “This this year’s concert is a very emotional concert for me because I’ve been doing this since elementary school. Being someone that knows how it is to learn this material as a young student, I’m very proud of how the younger kids have worked,” said Myhand.
First-year City Singer and freshman, Roberto Alvarez, is also very proud of the work put into this concert. “This is my second One City One Sound Concert, and performing high school material this year is definitely tougher than the middle school songs. We attempted harmonies in middle school, but now we’re actually doing them. ‘The Sleigh’ is my favorite song that we do this year because of how fast it is,” said Alvarez.
Although there will not be any more combined concerts this year, each school will be performing individual concerts throughout the rest of the school year.