PMHS band and choruses play first in-person concert in 17 months (with slideshow)

The stage band and the concert and chamber choruses of Pelham Memorial High School held their first in-person concerts in over a year on June 14 and June 15, respectively. 

The stage band was conducted by band teacher Andrew Van Bochove and performed their concert in the middle school gymnasium, while the concert and chamber choruses were conducted by chorus teacher Maria Abeshouse and performed in the school courtyard. 

Due to risks with Covid-19, several protective protocols had to be taken in order for the groups to rehearse and perform. “Woodwind instruments need to be in an instrument bag, and brass instruments need a bell cover,” said Van Bochove. “We’ve been rehearsing outside to avoid using all of the equipment, but it’s also hard to hear everyone well outside.”

Only families of senior students were able to attend the concerts in person, but the concerts were recorded and will be available to all. Both the band and choruses were able to put on concerts with versatile repertoire, despite the setbacks. 

The concert chorus performed seven songs, including “Rise Up” by Andra Day, “Longest Time” by Billy Joel and “Treat People with Kindness” by Harry Styles. The mixed chamber chorus performed four songs, including “Don’t Get Around Much Anymore” by Duke Ellington and “Stand In That River” by Moira Smiley. The treble chamber chorus performed three songs including “They All Laughed” by Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald with rewritten lyrics by the members of the treble chorus. The chorus concert also featured the Acapelicans. The stage band performed three songs, including “Avengers: Endgame.” 

Both music teachers worked diligently to make sure that they were able to have concerts. “I was going to do whatever possible to have a concert before the year was over,” Van Bochove said. “The most rewarding part is that we actually all get to play together. The concert was the first time we all played together since February of 2020.”

The band and choruses have had to miss out on several performances over the past year, but there’s hopes of fully returning next year. “I’m very optimistic about the fall, but my biggest concern is doing what keeps everyone safe and healthy,” Van Bochove said.