Orchestra director conducts final Halloween orchestra concert

William Tong, Staff Writer

At 6:40 p.m., the auditorium gradually began to fill with people.  A quiet mumble of the occasional parent trying to find the seat closest to his or her child gradually grew to be a bustling roar of friends, grandparents, parents, and siblings, anticipating the arrival of their star musicians on stage as well as the trick-or-treating that would come after the concert.  

As the Concert Orchestra seated itself in neat rows and one of the vice presidents approached the microphone on stage, the audience quieted down. One of the vice presidents of the orchestra, Arushi Bavel, introduced the repertoire of the Concert Orchestra, and the audience applauded as Mrs. Reynolds, the orchestra director, stepped onto the podium.  She raised her baton, and all was quiet. It fell, and the orchestra began an eerie tune that set the tone for the rest of the concert.

On Thursday, October 18th, Naperville Central High School’s orchestra kicked off its

eason with a bang.  It was the night of the Halloween concert, a tradition that Mrs. Reynolds started six years ago. The stage was decorated with all kinds of spooky ornaments, from skittering spiders to dangling skeletons, which would be used later during the performance.  

While it was cold outside, the suspenseful music being played made the auditorium have a far more chilly feel.  As the concert orchestra’s first piece “Mystical Portal” ended, Mrs. Reynolds quietly slipped off stage, only to saunter back on wearing an ornately gilded pharaoh costume.  The next piece, “The Curse of Tutankhamun,” depicted the horrendous death that would befall all those who dared approach King Tut’s grave. Several actors, dressed like tomb raiders of the 18th century, tried to uncover King Tut’s treasures with their flashlights, but all ended up dying.  However, for the next concert, Mrs. Reynolds had another trick hid up her sleeve. For “Waltz of the Wicked,” she came out cackling, dressed as witch. With a whirling close, the Chamber Orchestra swept off the stage.

Next up was the Bella Corda, an auditioned ensemble that met outside of school.  Sitting casually on the side of the stage, they produced a fiery display of music, titled “Lyric Metal.” After, it was time for another costume change, and this time, into a spider.  The Chamber Orchestra made their way onto the stage. Their amazing performances included a frightening scream at the end of “Spider Dance” and an unknowing girl being dragged into the crypt at the end of “Midnight of the Mausoleum.”

The final ensemble to play was the Symphony Orchestra, starting off with yet another comical costume change on Mrs. Reynold’s part, fitting their opener, “The Pink Panther.” It featured spectacular solos by Janna Mischler and David Majka.  They then played the “Halloween Spooktacular,” a medley of traditional Halloween songs. It was followed by a sweet, singsong work, “October,” and then the eighth graders from Lincoln Junior High and Madison Junior high entered the spotlight.  They, along with the Symphony Orchestra, played “Dark Adventure” and the “Spiderman” theme, which featured the penultimate costume change, into, well, it’s not hard to guess.

Even though the concert ended with the thrilling “Monster-Mash,” there was more fun to be had.  After the show, the little children dressed up in Halloween costumes went to the practice rooms in the flat wing of the school to trick-or-treat.  

One violinist in the concert, Karah Mccarl, said after the show that “I think it went really well… It was comical genius!” Before the performance, Mrs. Reynolds expressed concern for the costume changes and making sure that entrances were done right, but afterward, praised everyone’s hard work, exclaiming “it went really well! Everyone remembered their cues!”, going along with the general opinion that the orchestra members had that their concert had gone well.  

Sadly, this Halloween Concert is Mrs. Reynold’s last Halloween concert, as she will be retiring in May. But, for now, everyone can look forward to the winter concert, which will feature two concerts in one night, showcasing all the musical talent that NCHS has to offer!