Greenwich High School Performing Arts Center holds opening concert

The opening concert for the Greenwich High School Performing Arts Center (PAC) will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 7, at 7:30 p.m.

Audience members attending the concert will first encounter pieces of student artwork hung in the new facility’s Galleria. Following words of welcome by Headmaster Chris Winters and opening remarks from First Selectman Peter Tesei and Superintendent William McKersie, there will be a ceremonial ribbon cutting. The families of GHS students, GHS staff and Town officials have been invited to performances by the GHS Band, Orchestra, Choral, Electronic Music, and Theater Programs immediately following the ribbon cutting ceremony. The concert is open to the community on a first-come first-served basis. There will be a more formal, community-wide, grand opening event in early 2016.

The musical highlight of the concert will be the world premiere performance of an original composition for the Wind Ensemble, Orchestra and Combined Choruses composed by GHS alumnus Rob Mathes (‘81). Mr. Mathes is a world-renowned composer, performer, arranger and producer who most recently arranged and conducted the music for the concert at Madison Square Garden honoring Pope Francis. Mr. Mathes was also the orchestrator and conductor of the Broadway production of The Last Ship composed by Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Sting, with whom Mr. Mathes has collaborated for many years.

Last spring, the Greenwich High School Music Department commissioned Mr. Mathes to write an original piece of music to commemorate the opening of the school’s new Performing Arts Center. The piece, entitled Can You Hear Me? was composed and orchestrated over the summer and delivered to the music faculty at the start of the school year. Mr. Mathes has written a moving and powerful work. In the days leading up to the concert, Mr. athes has met with the students in rehearsal to share his vision for the piece and to help them with some of the more challenging aspects of it. The piece will be performed by a musical force of nearly 350 student singers and instrumentalists.

Information: greenwichschools.org. Follow us @GPSDistrict

Concert performances include:

Concert Choir and Chorale – The two choirs are comprised of roughly 150 singers from all grades. The main lyric of the song, “There Can Be Miracles, When You Believe”, will set the tone for the evening.

Theater Department – Students to perform two songs from last year’s musical Grease.

Symphony Orchestra – This orchestra is comprised of roughly seventy 10th-12th graders performing Point Lookout, a fantasy on Civil War songs.

Select choirs: Madrigals, Witchmen and Chamber Singers – Each choir will sing one piecefrom an area other than the stage to demonstrate the quality of the hall’s acoustics from allangles.

Electronic Music – There will be a video presentation showcasing student compositions fromthe GHS Electronic Music program.

Wind Ensemble – The most advanced of the school’s three concert bands, the Wind Ensemblewill perform A Jubilant Overture, which is a staple of the wind band repertoire composed byAlfred Reed.

GHS Students rehearse in new Performing Arts Center

GHS Students rehearse in new Performing Arts Center

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