Music Groups Lead Annual ‘Sounds of the Season’ ASM

Donning a red Santa Claus hat and an Andover scarf, Head of School John Palfrey led students in school-wide sing-a-longs of “Deck the Halls” and “Jingle Bells.”

The annual “Sounds of the Season” All-School Meeting (ASM) consisted of a 55-minute musical medley performed by students and faculty members, interspersed with punny introductions, and ended with an annual Christmas carol sing-along. It featured performances by Handbell Choir, Fidelio Choir, Jazz Band, Chorus, and William Duan ’19.

Jerry Shu ’21 said, “I think [ASM] really engaged the student body, because most of the time everyone’s listening to a speaker instead of actively participating.”

Duan performed an original piece on the violin which was a variation of “Silent Night.” Duan received a standing ovation from the audience afterward.

Shree Menon ’20 wrote in an email to The Phillipian, “[Duan] showed incredible talent and hard work after performing his own composition, Variations on Silent Night. The creativity and ingenuity that he showcased in his playing was amazing, as seen and heard by the crowd’s loud standing ovation.”

Jacques Kuno ’20, who beatboxed to Chorus’s rendition of “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” was one of several soloists who were highlighted during the chorus medley. Two others were Henry Crater ’20 and Summer Seward ’21, who sang “Happy Xmas (War is Over)” by John Lennon, accompanied by Fidelio Society and chorus.

Jazz Band performed a rendition of “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch.” 

According to Menon, who played the double bass, the Jazz Band had been working on this performance for nearly two months since Parent’s Weekend in October.

“Playing double bass with the Jazz Band was my favorite experience for this ASM. It was the first time that we, as a band, had played as an accompaniment part for the chorus,” said Menon.

Abby Ryan ’21 said, “The jazz band performance was my favorite act. The band performed really well this year. The music was livelier than I remember from last year. I also thought that the band complemented chorus. That song was another one of my favorite performances.”

Following the student performances, Palfrey led the annual sing-along to “Deck The Halls” and “Jingle Bells.” Menon saw the sing-along as a symbol of unity.

Menon said, “[The sing-along] shows that although our student body comes from all over the world, culturally and geographically, we can still join together and sing in unison.”

Ryan said, “There was an awesome community feel. Everyone in the audience was involved in the performance…[it] lifted everyone’s spirits. The entire ASM was dynamic. It’s definitely one of the most spirited ASMs of the year, and so much talent was showcased in all of the solos and ensembles.”