Music department puts on holiday show


Charlie Messner

Choir lines the auditorium, accompaning band and orchestra for their concert.

Kendall Morrison, Reporter

Revere High School’s orchestra held its annual winter concert, combined with two choirs, the band and a new teacher with a new mindset. 

Joshua Bowman, Revere’s newly hired orchestra teacher, led his high school class in their first performance under his guidance. They performed two pieces: Trois Raciles by composer Joseph Bloch and Duelling Fiddles by Brian Holmes. With nine violins and one viola in their orchestra, the students worked inside and outside the classroom in preparation for their concert, and they put together their polished pieces for their December 13 showcase. 

Bowman worked to adapt his teaching style to his students, providing them with the instruments they need to succeed through the standards of the music department. Freshman Natasha Pokrajac has been playing the violin for years under the instruction of multiple different teachers at Revere. A change in leadership can be difficult to execute smoothly, but Bowman’s classes have improved even through just the fall semester.

“I feel like I learned so much more this year than any other year. Even though I’m older, I feel like I’ve learned so much, and he really goes in-depth about each note,” Pokrajac said. 

Bowman’s leadership is a change for the 2022-23 school year at the high school, middle school and elementary school levels. Another one of his students, sophomore Yodha Kulkarni, has been in Revere’s various orchestra classes since sixth grade. As a violinist, he believes in the positive growth he’s experienced as the future of Revere’s orchestral department. 

“Mr. Bowman knows what he’s talking about. Because of Mr. Bowman, we’ve been getting a lot better,” said Kulkarni. 

The high school orchestra has exclusively freshmen and sophomores, the majority of whom worked to improve their personal playing for the better of the group.

“[I enjoy] getting to know each of their strengths and weaknesses and their personalities,” Bowman said.

His biggest concerns surrounded being together as an ensemble but especially for being just freshmen and sophomores, he has given the students challenging music played in round–the same melody at a different time for each part.

“With all of the different parts happening, it is hard to stay together,” Bowman said.

 Despite this, Bowman still shared optimism with his students, focusing on the positives after working to improve their technique and rhythm. 

“They have made a ton of improvement from the beginning of the year,” Bowman said.

This improvement can be credited to the character of the students and the leadership of the teacher.

“[We are] expected every day to come in and pay attention,” Kulkarni said. 

For the freshmen, this is their first year under a new instructor, after the last orchestra teacher taught most of the middle school classes as well. Bowman brings a fresh eye to the years-old orchestra, a combination of instruments that has been used for hundreds of years. However, old or new, the music played in a high school orchestra is still challenging for its students.

“I like [the music] a lot better than the middle school songs,” Pokrajac said. 

Above all else, Bowman worked with his students, first realizing and then molding to their needs. He even went so far as to keep up with the traditions the students had in middle school.

“He’s adapted to our group,” Pokrajac said. Their Can-Can song is one a former teacher taught the students, and Bowman has kept the song as a warm-up for the group.

For the first time in four years, the choirs performed with the combined bands and orchestra in one concert with an intermission in between both programs, even displaying a sing-a-long combined piece, Merry Christmas, Everyone! by Steven Reinecke. The rest of the band’s pieces include On This Day Earth Shall Ring composed by Gustav Holst and Sleigh Ride by Lee Roy Anderson.

Revere’s auditioned choir, Chorale, sang three pieces–And Miriam Sang by Zebulon M. Highben, Once Upon a December composed by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty and arranged by Audrey Snyder and Tundra by Ola Gjelo and Charles A. Silvestri. Symphonic Choir sang three pieces as well–Ecce Ancilla by Michael John Trotta, which translates to I Am the Servant, God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen by Charles W. Douglass and Al Shlosha D’varim by Allan E. Naplan.

Bowman and his students are finding their place as an orchestra and will be performing their two pieces in concert, supported by the Revere choirs and band, who will also be showcasing their work from this fall.