Live music returns to MVRHS


Music from the stage enveloped the audience in the darkened auditorium. After the last notes were played by the string players, a standing ovation erupted from the audience. 

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School’s music department held their 2021 Fall Concert Tuesday evening. The performances were held at the Martha’s Vineyard Performing Arts Center and it was the first time the school held in-person performances since the pandemic began. The MVRHS orchestra (led by orchestra teacher Rebecca Laird), concert band (led by music teacher Ray Fallon), vocal ensemble (led by performing arts department chair Abigail chandler), big band (led by Fallon), and the Minnesingers (led by Chandler) all performed during the concert. Guest musicians, such as Tisbury School instrumental teacher Kathleen Cadorette,  played an oboe solo with the orchestra, also performed with the MVRHS students during some of the songs. 

“This is the first in-person concert we’ve had since 2019,” Chandler said. 

The orchestra kicked off the concert with Jamin Hoffman’s arrangement of “Amadeus! From Symphony No. 25” by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. A small light show was used when they played “Mythos” by Soon Hee Newbold. The orchestra concluded a five-song segment with a performance of “Fire Start (The Planet Mars)” by Brandon Bangle in a joint performance with the All-Island middle school orchestra.

The concert band followed up with “Alarm” by Randall Standridge. The concert band wrapped up their three-song section with Michael Brown’s arrangement of the “Game of Thrones” by Ramin Djawadi, to the delight of some audience members. 

The vocal ensemble began with Greg Gilpin’s arrangement of the Polynesian folk song “Tongo.” The ensemble’s four-song performance was concluded with “Come to me, O my Love” by Allan Robert Petker. 

The big band played “Change Up” by Karl Stroman and Victor Lopez’s arrangement of “Moondance” by Van Morrison for their performances. 

The Minnesingers finished off the concert with performances of “How Long?” by Pepper Choplin and “Gaudete!” by Mark Burrows.

Chandler said a number of performances by MVRHS students are scheduled for December. The Minnesingers will be performing at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown on December 10 and 11, Friday and Saturday respectively. The All-Island band is scheduled to perform at the high school on Thursday, December 16. Additionally, the next department-wide concert will be held at the Martha’s Vineyard Performing Arts Center on Tuesday, December 21.