In the midst of the kerfuffle over health care, taxes, immigration reform and deficit reduction, this writer found an oasis of peace and joy at a splendid musical performance.
The Manatee High School Choral Department recently presented its Christmas Concert for a full house. Under the direction of Thomas Jomisko with the help of accompanist Chad DeLoach, the entire program was the perfect introduction to the holiday season.
It is a wonder that so many teenagers can be corralled long enough from their classes, homework, after-school jobs, sports practice and social lives to learn the music and words, some of them in a foreign language yet, to at least 20 pieces of difficult music.
The first portion of the program was notable for the elegance of choices in programming. The women's chorus performed "S'Vivon" a capella, with half the chorus singing first from the stage and the second half joining them while lining the aisles around us! A delightful surprise, and well-executed. The mixed chorus was especially good and reminded me of Fred Waring and his Pennsylvanians.
After intermission when the singers changed from formal to relaxed holiday clothes (that must have been a circus backstage), two guitarists and a bit of canned music appeared. "O Holy Night!" and "Mary Did You Know" were lovely as always. It was a girl in a red dress who belted out Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" that rocked the place with stomping, whistles, clapping and hoorahs. She was so completely comfortable with the rapport with an audience, she owned the room. Move over, Mariah.
The Good Samaritan award goes to the dear family and their chorister son who helped this writer find her car on one of the multitude of parking lots at Manatee High that manage to magically switch locations after nightfall.
Thank you again.