Festival of Arts came to an end with memorable band performances

Festival of Arts came to an end with memorable band performances

The curtains came down but the music will continue to play on.

The Festival of Arts 2023 completed its three musical performances during the final days of March.

But while the show closed, the experiences of this event sponsored by the Fine and Performing Arts Department in the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District will produce fond memories.

Dr. Thomas Bourgault, the Bridgewater-Raritan High School Co-Director of Band, hit the right note about the three fabulous concerts that were  produced on the floor of the high school’s main gym.

“The Festival of Arts is where the camaraderie of our students and faculty shines like no other event on our campus,” Dr. Bourgault declared. “Every band student and family in our district gets to celebrate the simple act of making music together with each other.”

He then capped his statement when he referred to the third and final act of the Festivals of the Arts—the Band Concert on Thursday, March 30.

.”Last night’s performance (March 30) was truly wonderful for that reason.”

Julian DiMaggio is a high school sophomore who is a Wind Ensemble percussionist.

He touched on how the Festival of Arts is a showcase that can be shared—and enjoyed–by students of all ages.

“Everyone played to the best of their abilities and it was a great opportunity for the students in the lower grades to see their musical future as well as see how students at an advanced level play,” Julian said.

Matt McCarthy experienced his first Festival of the Arts just days after he had just joined the school district as the Supervisor of Arts Education earlier in March.

He shared his feelings of his first Festival of the Arts.

“It was so wonderful to see the level of growth students achieve when they participate in our program throughout their time at Bridgewater-Raritan,” Mr. McCarthy said. “Our instrumental music program is unquestionable one of the many offerings in this district that go the extra mile to provide rich and meaningful learning experiences for students.”

The band students on this evening, who were from Bridgewater-Raritan High School, Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School, the Eisenhower Intermediate School and the Hillside Intermediate School, faced with the difficult task of capping off the musical performances of The Festival of the Arts 2023.

The fourth performance of the Festival of the Arts 2023 will be the District Visual Art Exhibit on May 17.

 The 2023 edition of the Festival of the Arts kicked off on Thursday, March 23, with the Chorus Concert.

That stunning performance before the first of three sold-out acts started with the 4th Graders from the seven Bridgewater-Raritan Primary Schools who teamed up for one cohesive choir.

Hillside and Eisenhower also joined forces and sang as one chorus, followed by the middle school students and then the high school chorus.

Next up in the order was the Orchestra Concert on Wednesday, March 29, when students in the intermediate, middle school and high school all performed.

The final musical chapter of this highly successful Festival of Arts 2023 came on March 30 and was launched that evening by the 7th Grade Band playing The Star Spangled Banner under the direction of Ashen Udell, the 7th Grade Band and Wind Ensemble Director.

The Eisenhower Band, under its director Chris Dickson, opened with its playing of The Avengers by Alan Silvestri and arranged by David Shaffer.

“The 6th Grade Band should be very proud or itself,” Ms. Dickson said. “It was a strong performance, which will hopefully be a great growth opportunity during their musical journey. I’m looking forward in seeing how much they accomplish for their spring concert coming in June.”

Hillside’s musicians followed under their band director, Jacob Ulm, and played Aurora Eclipsed by Tyler Arcari.

Ms. Udell’s 7th Graders played Tambora !  by William Owens and then the 8th Grade Band under its director, Barron Caromano, delivered a rendition of The Incredibles by Michael Giacchino and arranged by Paul Murtha.

“I felt a great vibe as the kids were performing. I am very proud of them and I am enjoying watching them grow as people and musicians,” Mr. Caromano said.

 The middle school students continued on when the Wind Ensemble under Ms. Udell played the Phoenix Overture by Benjamin Yao.

The Bridgewater-Raritan High School Concert Band under its conductor, Michael Cappabianca, performed Encanto by Robert W. Smith.

Nick Mossa, who is the high school’s Co-Director with Dr. Bourgault, served as the conductor to the Symphonic Band and those students played Autobahn by Ryan George.

The high school’s Wind Ensemble under Dr. Bourgault played the final two songs of the delightful evening of music.

They performed Mother of a Revolution by Omar Thomas and then sealed this successful showing by producing “Farandole” from L’Arlesienne Suite No. 2 that was written by George Bizot and arranged by Robert Longifled.

So, while the shows came to a close, the memories will live on while students will continue to perform as they grow through the school district.

“It was a great celebration of the amazing students and staff of the band programs all across the BRRSD,” Mr. Mossa said. “All of the students should feel proud to perform on such a special night and share their hard work with each other and our Bridgewater-Raritan community.”