Holst, Folk Tunes, and Wordless Songs: Orchestra, Band, and Chorus Performances Bring Joy and Musical Community to Family Weekend

From Dvorák’s New World Symphony to John Conahan’s avant-garde “Clap/Bang,” Academy orchestras, bands, and choruses performed a range of music at the first in-person Family Weekend since 2019. With shows on Friday and Saturday night, the program included Chamber Orchestra, Symphony Orchestra, Amadeus String Ensemble, Concert Band, Academy Chorus, and the Fidelio Society. Performers and audience members spoke to The Phillipian regarding their concert experiences, the return to in-person performances, and community music-making.


Nate Bechard ’24 – Thursday Concert Band

We have a lot of talent and work very hard to produce quality tunes. I know all the members of the [Andover] music program really appreciate support and attendance at concerts. We hope to show parents and students alike the extent to which we can push the boundaries of the concert band as we will be playing some unconventional songs [at the] next performance. These will include a selection of “rags” from the early 1900s.


Lauren Mahoney ’23 – Academy Chorus and the Fidelio Society

My favorite piece of the concert was “Let My Love Be Heard” by Jake Runestad, sung by the Fidelio Society. There is a specific section in the piece where the higher parts, soprano, and alto, sing in a call and response. The sounds resonated throughout the chapel and created a beautiful harmonious sound. The piece reminded me why I love to sing, as it brings me joy and peace.


Michela Rowland ’24 – Thursday Concert Band

It was really cool to be a part of a community making music because you win together, you lose together. We worked pretty hard to get here… I [also] really liked the [Academy Chorus’] wordless pieces, because I thought it was really cool how [Dr. Siegfried, Chair in Music] described it as beyond just the language that we usually use.


Kylan Li ’24 – Tuesday and Thursday Amadeus

I feel like playing the pieces showed the beauty of an orchestra. To be honest, we were in a little bit of a time crunch to prepare for a family weekend, but I felt like it was a great accomplishment from the orchestra to be able to get it ready.


Ms. Kassie Archambault ’06 

The acoustics in the chapel are beautiful and really make a performance like that come alive. I think it’s so special that we can be back in person for performances with a live audience (and with non-campus viewers), but it’s also really nice for our performers to be able to do what they love in front of friends and family.