An exceptional night of music

Monday, January 01, 2018

To those who missed a really spectacular holiday concert at Greenfield High School: Try not to miss one again.

Pioneer Valley Symphony, Youth Orchestra and Chorus outdid themselves with their musical offerings. It began with the Hanukkah Festival Overture by Lucas Richman, and ended with an encore of Handel’s Messiah Hallelujah Chorus. Offered were well and lesser-known pieces to the audience, a delight for those who are both familiar with and less familiar with classical music. From Spain we had “Carmen,” then onto “Skaters’ Waltz,” “Troika,” and a Strauss “Polka.” Then, after intermission, the PVS Youth Orchestra joined PVSO to play “Around the World at Christmas Time,” and the Jazz piece “Take Five.”

Next came a chamber choir performance of a piece by Salamone Rossi, challenging to sing from two sides of the auditorium, and beautifully done. Then, the whole PVS Chorus joined in to sing some more familiar choral pieces to celebrate the season. The four conductors: Luca Antonucci, assistant conductor; Steven Bathory-Peeler, Youth Orchestra conductor; and Jonathan Harvey, choral director, delivered exceedingly professional performances, and Greenfield Mayor Bill Martin had an opportunity to know how it feels to be on the podium himself, conducting the final piece (except for encores) of the evening, “Sleigh Ride.”

All in all, it was a wonder-filled evening of great music and musicianship, and good cheer felt by all. It’s a great way to start the New Year. Check out the PVSOC spring performances while they search for their next music director. The concerts beginning in February promise to be exceptional as well. Also, many thanks to their sponsors for their continued support.

Diana Roberts