Insider Look Into the Making of Carillon

Every winter, Warde music students get to perform in Carillon: a holiday show where the band, orchestra and choir groups come together. When our peers watch our performance, they only see the finished product, and none of the work that goes into it. So, as a violinist in the Philharmonic orchestra, I decided to give all of Warde an inside look on Carillon.


In Orchestra, we receive our sheet music on November 3rd, over a month away from our first performance. It’s important that our music is perfected by the first week of December, because that’s when our 4 hour long rehearsals start (yes, really, 4 hours.)


On November 29th, student members of the Tri-M Music Honor Society, prepared the space for Carillon, weeks before the first performance. Practicing in the space ahead of time allows us to get an accurate feel for our sound and how it reacts with the auditorium, which is different from our respective ensemble classrooms.


The orchestra and the band combine during the school day for rehearsing our joint pieces: Sleigh Ride, by Leroy Anderson, and The Closing of the Year, arranged by Peter Demarco. Both of these are performed every year, and they truly enforce the holiday spirit.


“Sleigh Ride is my favorite piece, and I enjoy it every year,” said Paige DeSantis, a junior apart of the choir department at Warde.


After a month of preparation, choir, orchestra, and band finally meet to run-through every aspect of Carillon. Getting the light cues right, the entrances perfectly timed, and everything in tune takes time, not to mention tons of practice. These long rehearsals normally end around 6:15pm, starting directly after school ends so if you see my under-eye bags the next day, no you don’t.


Finally, on December 15th, we’re ready to showcase our work to Warde faculty and students. Carillon is so special to the music department, and we hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

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