Westwood Hosts Winter Music Events


Anastasia Murphy, Staff Writer

In the last month, Westwood Regional High School has hosted three musical events including a choir festival, winter band concert, and winter choir concert.

The NJSA School Association Region One Choir Festival was held on Nov. 29. At the festival, choir groups performed and were judged.  The judges of the festival came from Westminster Choir College of Rutgers University. The performance groups were students in the select choirs at Paramus High School, Northern Highlands Regional High School, Pascack Valley High School, Mahwah High School, River Dell High School, and the hosting school, Westwood Regional High School.

The choir concert, which was originally postponed by one week to Dec. 13, included a variety of multicultural selections; the songs contained a variety of languages and styles. A few of the pieces performed were “Come Travel With Me” and “Blow Blow Thou Winter Wind.” Choir teacher Lisa Bagley said, “I’m hoping that all of the groups will be well-prepared and perform various styles of music.”

The Dec. 5 band concert had no single theme, as was apparent by just the titles of the pieces. The music department feels it is important for the students to be exposed to more serious repertoire throughout the school year rather than focusing on a holiday concert. The eighth grade band played two pieces, “Rain” and “The Dream Catcher,”  while the High School Concert Band played “Fantasy on Sakura Sakura,” “Country Gardens,” and “Cajun Folk Songs.” The Wind Ensemble, a select band group, performed pieces including “Down a Country Land” and “Sun Dance.”

James Lawrence, one of the music department’s band teachers, spoke about the performances at the concert: “I felt great about all the performances! The students worked very hard this semester to meet the standards Mr. Peña and myself set for them, and their outstanding performance makes me eager to prepare for our next concerts.” He was also proud to announce that two students were chosen for the honor of participating in All-County Band this year. The band and choir groups are already preparing for their “Pops Concert,” which will be held on Feb. 13.