By Maia Somma ’24
November evening performances in the Burgin Center for the Arts’ Simon Theatre include the Fall Dance Concert Saturday, November 4, at 7:30 p.m. and the Fall Pops Concert Saturday, November 11, at 7:30 p.m. Both are free and open to the public.
The Fall Dance Concert will be a roughly 75-minute show. Mercersburg’s Director of Dance, Kelsy Rupp, along with four adjunct dance instructors (Tara Nalley, Alyssa Little, Michael Reyes, and Adrian Obviar), choreographed the show. Student choreographers include Stella Johnson ’25, Elizabeth Orders ’25, and Cricket Tatone ’24.
“The concert features ballet, modern, tap, jazz, and more. I hope this year’s concert truly showcases the range of talent, passion, and professionalism the Mercersburg dancers embody everyday!” says Rupp.
A week following the dance concert, Mercersburg’s Jazz Band, a cappella groups Magalia and Octet, and the Chorale will take the stage for the Fall Pops Concert. The program invites all to come out and enjoy an evening of fun, familiar music.
The Jazz Band will perform a range of pieces and styles, including traditional jazz/blues, rock-ballads, and funk.
“My hope for this concert is to give the kids some confidence in their abilities to play this music at a high level. A lot of the music is challenging, but they are doing a good job learning it, and I hope they will see the fruits of their hard work at the concert,” says Shami Beni, who is in his first year as band director at Mercersburg.
The Octet, Mercersburg’s original a cappella group founded before the school was co-ed, and the Magalia, Mercersburg’s a cappella group for treble singers, will both take the stage. They will also join together to perform as the Magtet. Kristen Morrow and James Brinson are leading the a cappella groups and Chorale.
“The music is more familiar than some of what we will learn and perform throughout the year, but it isn't any less difficult. There are challenges in the close-harmony vocal writing. Voices will imitate instruments and execute percussive rhythms. The requirements for good intonation, accuracy, and artistry are as high as for any type of choral or vocal music,” says Morrow, who is in her first year at Mercersburg.
Concert attendees can expect to hear familiar favorites like “Here Comes the Sun” by the Beatles and “From the Start” by Laufey, as well as several vocal solos.
The Academy’s Strings Ensemble will perform for students during a school meeting on Friday, November 3, and the Fall Student Music Recital will take place Sunday, November 12, to round up the school’s fall offerings.
Photo by Sean Qin '25