TERRA’s Reimagined Music Program Debut

Gabriel Blanco, Reporter

A steady stream of students and parents entered and filled the rows of seats as various instruments were moved onto the stage. The sound of trumpets, flutes, and clarinets cut through the air, all playing in unison. Voices rose melodiously over the chatter of the crowd. The lights dimmed and the audience settled into their seats as first year TERRA teacher, Dr. Wuttke, rose his hands and signaled the band to play. Thus began the first TERRA fall concert on  Wednesday, Nov. 15.

With a repertoire consisting of three songs of various genres, the two band classes joined to play “Kentucky 1800,” “The Phantom of the Opera,” and the “Dance of the Tumblers.” Saxophone player Nicholas Calzadilla commented, “I was a little concerned on the group as a total, how it was going to sound, since we hadn’t practiced together, but in the end we were able to pull together.” Without missing a beat, band students played seamlessly through the three pieces, each instrument showcased as an individual that complemented the whole.

As the last note faded, the choir walked up on stage and assembled behind the band. With another wave of Dr. Wuttke’s hand, the Beginning Chorus students began singing My Favorite Things. At the conclusion of the song, the advanced chorus class took the stage and sang “Ose Shalom” and the “Ash Grove.” To end the night both classes sang in unison “Harvest Moon,” “Do You Hear What I Hear,” and “Cripple Creek.”

Advanced choir member Sushmita Persaud, senior, admits that she was slightly concerned for how the concert would turn out. After the performance, however, she said, “I was worried that we were going to forget some lyrics, but when we were on stage, we sounded good as a group and remembered our pitches.”

Dr. Wuttke took center stage to address the audience, thanking the students and parents for their attendance and for making his transition into TERRA as smooth as possible. Then, addressing the seniors, he dedicated the final performance to them and their future endeavors. With the end of his speech, he turned around and for the first time both the band and choir members performed together, playing his arrangement of “The Long and Winding Road.”

Senior Isis Gonzalez said, “I thought it was really nice for all of the classes to be together of music performing arts, so I’m really excited that he wants to include that as a thing for the future.”

In class after the concert, Dr. Wuttke gave his students evaluation sheets after watching a recording of the concert in order critique their performance. This was done to make the students realize their mistakes and improve for future performances. Despite the imperfections, Dr. Wuttke thought the concert went well, saying, “Coming into this I’m new here so my expectations are a little different if I have been here several years. So I was looking for cohesiveness and organization, timing was a big factor and performing through our music without any major issues. So if I’m judging them by those standards it was a highly successful concert.”

All in all, the concert went without a hitch, a testament to the skill of the students and teacher. An impressive debut for Dr. Wuttke’s music program and a promising sign of future performances to come.