Spring Music Concert Presented May 2; Watch Replay

Friday, April 30, 2021

This year, Mercersburg’s Spring Music Concert took place outdoors May 2 in front of a live audience in the Performance Garden (located on the south side of the Boys’ Garden) next to the Burgin Center for the Arts.

Watch a replay of the show on the Burgin Center for the Arts’ YouTube channel. (The concert begins at the 22:00 mark.)

Director of Music Bryan Morgan ’07 rehearses with the woodwinds ahead of the Spring Music Concert 

Despite the change in venue, the students prepared as diligently as ever for their performance, according to Bryan Morgan ’07, arts faculty and director of music. This year’s Spring Music Concert featured the Concert Band and Jazz Band (directed by Morgan), Chorale (directed by Morgan and co-directed by James Brinson, arts faculty), the a cappella vocal groups Octet and Magalia (directed by Brinson), and the String Ensemble (directed by arts faculty member Michael Cameron). 

“We have to learn our music and know it well,” Morgan said before the show. “Along with sectional work, the Concert Band and Chorale have started full ensemble rehearsals a few times each week, which we have not been able to do all year.”

Morgan also had a helping hand from guest instructors throughout the spring term. This freed him up to oversee the other aspects needed to pull off the concert.

This year’s show would not be possible without the help of Laurie Mufson, director of the Burgin Center for the Arts; Kelly Dowling, assistant director of the Burgin Center for the Arts; and Jessica Doubell, technical director of the Burgin Center, Morgan says.

“Without these three wonderful colleagues, there would be NO WAY all the logistics of this outdoor event would be ironed out. Concerts just don't happen,” Morgan says. “The leg work behind the scenes is immense!”

Members of the Concert Band include Linden Amster ’23, Jordyn Beard ’21, Francis Betkowski ’23, Frank Cantera ’23, Alex Cho ’23, Norah Copenhaver ’24, Rachel Cruea ’21, George Divone ’21, Madison Goodhart ’24, Nathaniel Goodhart ’24, Kenny Hong ’21, Christian Jetter ’22, Aidan Kirkman ’22, Felix Kreis ’24, Eric Liu ’22, Michael Maurer ’22, Shoki Nemoto ’21, Jelly Nguyen ’24, Zain Qureshi ’22, Tomiwa Salako ’22, Eliana Sandy ’24, Nora Smith ’24, Christopher Tompkins ’23, Alex Van Ess ’24, Isabella Van Ess ’22, and Daniel Zhong ’23, along with virtual members Saskia Mentor ’21 and Chuks Ugori ’23.

Members of the Chorale include Jordyn Beard ’21, Carina Cole ’22, Wren Dahbura ’21, Kaitlyn Dowling ’23, Griffin Eagle ’23, Frances Elwood ’23, Abby Hann ’23, Bob Hollis ’24, Alison Huang ’22, Osa Iyoha ’22, Bella Jones ’24, Ellie Jornlin ’22, Jonah Lee ’24, Gabe McGuire ’24, Langley Owen ’24, Meagan Owens ’22, Destiny Rodney ’22, Riley Schermerhorn ’22, Camille Smith ’22, Charlotte Stauffer ’22, and Matthew Tavarez ’22, along with virtual members Nick Barnes ’22, Michelle Feng ’22, Kenna Gisriel ’24, Jessica Luo ’21, Tyerra Rooffener ’23, Sloane Stouffer ’22, and Matt Wang ’23.

Members of the String Ensemble include Justin An ’23, Jamie Hyung ’23, Corbin Kelly ’24, David Kim ’22, Jooa Lee ’23, Dylan Stiffler ’24, Kawla Tembo ’23, Crystal Yuen ’24, Duncan Besch ’22, Kaori Graham-Myrie ’24, Andrew Leibowitz ’24, Ethan Xin ’23, Logan Butts ’23, Clare Ip ’23, and Priscilla Lee ’23.

Combining forces once again, members of Magalia and Octet include Jordyn Beard ’21, Francis Betkowski ’23, Wren Dahbura ’21, Kaitlyn Dowling ’23, Osa Iyoha ’22, Destiny Rodney ’22, Tomiwa Salako ’22, and Matthew Tavarez ’22, along with virtual members Nick Barnes ’22, Michelle Feng ’22, Jessica Luo ’21, Tyerra Rooffener ’23, and Matt Wang ’23.

The Spring Music Concert was filled with a variety of crowd-pleasing favorites. The String Ensemble performed Emperor Waltz by Johann Strauss, Oblivion by Astor Piazzolla (featuring An as cello soloist), and Strings Cut Loose by Brian Balmages. Magalia and Octet performed This is Gospel by Panic! at the Disco.

Morgan said he is excited about practically all of the Concert Band’s pieces. But if he had to choose, he says the stand -out piece would be Rocketship! by Kevin Day. “I believe the audience will love it just as much as the Bandies have already,” Morgan says. 

The Chorale performed  Make Them Hear You from the musical Ragtime. “The text is highly appropriate with all that has been exposed on the news recently,” he adds.

After all students were virtual for the winter term, Morgan has loved having a majority of students back on campus, but he still misses the virtual members.

“For the Chorale and Concert Band, having the groups all together is exciting in itself because we have not had any time to bond as a full group, which is vital in the atmosphere, collaboration, and performance of the ensemble,” Morgan says. “What I'm talking about goes beyond the music that you hear. Also, I want to acknowledge our virtual musicians. They have been proactive and resilient in staying engaged. It's not easy because there is no way for them to participate with the in-person group. So we've had to talk about virtual performances and such activities. It's not what they signed up for, and that is a tough situation. We miss them dearly, not just because of their musical gifts, but we are missing the gift of their presence!”

For more information on this story, please contact Lee Owen (owenl@mercersburg.edu) in Mercersburg’s Office of Strategic Marketing and Communications.