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High School Music Department Continues to Shine

Concert features many talented high school musicians as well as a directorial debut.

The multi-award winning Woonsocket High School Music Department presented its annual Holiday Concert Thursday evening, a rousing performance that demonstrated both the dedication of the city's music teachers and the enthusiasm of this year's students.

Once the show began, the talented musicians never missed a beat, moving the concert along without pause. The teachers, Choral Director Lisa C. Alves and Band Director Christopher Depot, arranged the different ensembles so that that while one is playing, another is getting ready. As with years past, the audience was treated to non-stop entertainment, with no big pauses between musical selections.

The evening showcased students throughout the concert.  Electric guitartist Troy Witter was a featured soloist in the jazz band’s rendition of Rockin’ BellsBlues in the Night featured several jazz band students who showed off their improvisational skills which garnered many moments of applause.

The traditional performance of O Holy Night proved to be one of the high points of the evening, receiving a standing ovation. Every year, a senior chorus member is chosen to perform this beloved classic and in keeping with tradition, Joseph Morse sang the classic.

Another touching moment in the concert came when the chorus sang Our Gift to You.  This song featured Samantha Smith and Alley Carter-Riel who, while singing, also signed the lyrics to the song.  Towards the end, the entire chorus was signing, which really helped to drive the message of the song home.

This Holiday Concert marked the directorial debut of the Band Director Christopher Depot.  He is a young, eager and energetic director
who only last year graduated from the University of Rhode Island. Depot came into the job knowing that the department has a long and great musical tradition. 

“Everyday when I walk into the band room there are all of those trophies staring me in the face and I take that as a challenge, something to rise to," said Depot.  "I know I have very big shoes to fill. There were some amazing directors that have come through here and they have built a wonderful spirit and a wonderful musical tradition and I hope to carry that on.”

Adding to the pressure, Depot joins the Music Department in the year where they will travel to Williamsburg, VA, as they do every two years, to compete in the Festival of Music.  Since 1994, the Music Department has consistently won awards making it one of the most highly decorated music departments in Rhode Island.

Alves, Depot and the extraordinary students certainly did not let fans down with this performance, and the Woonsocket High School Music Department provided another great Holiday Concert. 

If you missed the concert this year, you still have the opportunity to not only hear it, but also see it.  As he has for many years, Dave Richards of radio station , recorded the concert to be broadcast on December 25
at 4 p.m.  You can listen on the radio or go to the station’s website to watch it.

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