By: Hunter Wain
On March 6 and 7 Attleboro High School (AHS) hosted the Southeast Junior District Music Festival, as it has numerous times since 1996.
“I directed students from each school to their different rooms, got the directors anything they needed, brought kids to buy food, chaperoned lunch, answered any teacher’s questions, set up rooms for rehearsals, and ran the concession stand for a while,” said AHS senior Alexis Grassi, who was a volunteer.
Approximately 500 students in grades seven through nine from all over Southeastern Mass. participated in rehearsals from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Friday, and returned Saturday for more rehearsals and the concert. Both concerts were open to the general public.
“It’s our job to make the kids comfortable and welcome in a new environment and help them find their way around the school and if they have any questions we answer them the best way we can,” said AHS sophomore Cassidy Dias, who was also a volunteer.
Students who are involved in the music department helped pull the event together, then volunteered and helped teachers from other schools prepare for the rehearsals.
“It gets the school involved with other schools and more activities. Junior districts are a great event and to be able to hold it here is really cool. I know we had one freshman in the orchestra and it shows that the people at AHS have the talent to get it and like being involved,” said AHS sophomore Emily Saulnier who also volunteered.
“The original accompanist had fallen the week before and broke her wrist, so I only had five days time to prepare for the festival; it was a long but very fulfilling day of work,” said Mixed Choir Accompanist, 2000 AHS graduate and Brennan Middle School music teacher Mr. David Renoni.
“Listening to the chorus perform music, they had started learning just over 24 hours previously for a packed house of 1,200 people, was really cool,” said Renoni.
“In addition, Mr. Hyman, Mrs. Grueb and the AHS music students work like CRAZY both days to make sure everything runs smoothly, setting up chairs, moving kids from room to room, getting the stage ready for each performing group, and working with Mr. Runey on logistics. It is truly a team effort, and while they make it look effortless, it really is a marathon weekend,” Renoni added.
The final performances included the Festival Jazz Ensemble, Treble Chorus and Mixed Chorus, and the Festival Orchestra and Concert Band.