WRA’s Fall Music Performance: An Evening to Remember

Sunday, November 14th, was an exciting day for Western Reserve Academy’s performing arts department. The Symphonic Winds, Orchestra, Choir, and Jazz Ensemble came together to put on the annual Fall Music Performance in the Knight Fine Arts Center. As the performance began at 5:00 PM, the program had attracted a large audience of parents, students, and faculty members coming to appreciate the talent of WRA’s music students.

When concerts are not taking place, WRA students can be found playing music in the esteemed Hayden Hall. Students with a variety of talents gather to practice and share their music. The Fall Music Performance was a wonderful way to showcase their hard work, the valued efforts of music directors Ms. Karam and Mr. Leonard, and those of everyone else who made the show possible.

The Fall Music Performance brought great joy to many members of the WRA community symbolizing the process of coming together for the first live music concert since March of 2020. The performance emphasized finding happiness through music after a challenging time, according to music director Ms. Karam. In light of this, the choir began the show by performing an array of pieces, including a moving rendition of “Can You Sing the Darkness Into Light,” referencing finding a “light at the end of the tunnel,” and remaining hopeful and “Lead with Love,” an upbeat and joyful piece which engaged the audience. 

Later in the show, the Symphonic Winds ensemble presented pieces including “Golden Celebration Overture” and “Epic Gaming Themes,” which complimented the bold, modern style of the concert. Symphonic Winds was followed by the orchestra, which featured many pieces, from chamber music to jazz, including a movement from J.S Bach’s “Brandenburg Concertos” and the famous “Georgia on my Mind.” The pieces varied in speed, dynamics, and style but worked together to create an elegant, impressive performance. Claire Hua ’25, a member of the academy orchestra, stated that “[the orchestra] played very well despite being a small ensemble and not having a full orchestra. We played at our full volume, and the performance went very well.” 

Finally, the show ended with the WRA Jazz Band. This ensemble’s pieces included instrumental versions of “Tangerine” and “Hey Arnold,” followed by vocal performances of “The Nearness of You” and “Just the Two of Us,” with soloists performing in many of the numbers. The Jazz Band’s energetic performance concluded the show on a positive note. From the beautifully melodic voices of the choir singers to the Jazz Ensemble’s lively rhythms, the Fall Music Performance integrated many different genres and approaches to music. It was a successful celebration of the arts and a great way to kick off the winter holiday season. 

-Isabella Haslinger Johnson ’25

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