Student Concerts Bring Sounds of Joy to First Church

Dec 20, 2021

A standing-room only crowd filled First Church for the Oakland School for the Arts annual Winter Concert on Friday evening. Performers included various middle school and high school level ensemble groups, performing choral renditions of mostly popular music and some Christmas tunes.

The atmosphere was charged with excitement. Students sat in the sanctuary’s transepts. As the middle school students performed, the high school students cheered and encouraged. The sound system brought by the school failed to work properly, interrupting Encore’s performance of You’re Enough with jarring feedback. The students started over without microphones, relying on the sanctuary’s acoustics and their own, unamplified voices. The song was a success.

First Church’s Charmaine Irmiter was the first parent to arrive, staking out a good seat and waiting eagerly for her daughter Alessandra Mohar to perform. Alessandra, a graduating senior on her way to Stanford University, sang Sarzamine Man, a traditional Afghani song, with the Concert Choir, one of the many ensemble groups.

Piedmont East Bay Children’s Choirs performed two concerts, to smaller, invitation only audiences of approximately one hundred guests each (owing to a much more restrictive Covid policy). Children in these performances ranged in age from elementary school through high school. Music performed ranged from classical to Broadway show tunes.

One final concert for 2021 is scheduled, this evening’s performance of Haul out the Holly by the Oakland Gay Men’s Chorus, their annual holiday concert. Tickets are available at the door.