Orange hues are cast over the stage as a motley group of costumed performers assemble.  On October 26, the music department presented its annual Halloween concert.  The concert is hosted to raise money for the European tour the music department organizes every three years.  The program included various arrangements of popular Halloween tunes, including “The Nightmare Before Christmas” performed by the wind ensemble and “The Ballad of Sweeney Todd” performed by concert choir.

The highlight of the show was the collaboration of the Princeton Youth Ballet (PYB) and philharmonic orchestra.  The orchestra performed the fifth movement of Hector Berlioz’s Symphonie Fantastique, titled “Dies Irae.”  Sophomore Madison Lai, a violinist and a dancer for PYB, established the connection between the two art groups.  Artistic director Risa Kaplowitz and the president of PYB reached out to conductor John Enz about the coordinated performance, and he requested that the group perform in the halloween concert.  “Even though it didn’t leave me much time to choreograph the ballet and rehearse the dancers, I gave an enthusiastic ‘yes,’” said Kaplowitz.

“The dancers had to be able to adjust to dancing to live music and the orchestra had to be accommodating in terms of tempo,” Lai said.  “It was a great experience to work with a live orchestra, and I think that the addition of dancers made the performance more exciting.”  The orchestra and ballet group had only one rehearsal with the orchestra before the performance to coordinate tempo and placement on the stage.  “Given the added pressure of having to play fast enough to coordinate the dancers’ jumps, I think we performed exceptionally well.  All in all, I’m happy with how the Halloween concert turned out!” said concertmaster Soyeong Park, a senior.

Other groups performing in the show stepped up their preparation to meet the high expectations for this year’s concert.  Out of the Blue, the co-ed a cappella group, performed the Pokemon theme song.  Senior president Jonathan Gelb said they wanted to “bring it back in a larger way” since this piece was performed four years ago, but only one person was dressed up as the protagonist from the video game.  “Everybody was in costume,” Gelb said.  “We’ve expanded to include more mediums of art, costuming, and staging.”  Park agreed, saying, “Everything about the concert—decorations, audience response, music, ambience—was so on point.”

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