St. Mary band and choir programs look to movies and Broadway for inspiration with newest concert

After months of practices and virtual performances, band and choir students at École St. Mary High School are eager to get back in front of a live audience.

They’ll do just that Wednesday night when they gather for a one hour performance at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre.

“It’s super exciting. The students are looking forward to it more than I can even say,” St. Mary band director Julie Watt said. “I think we were able to start playing in December this school year, but we haven’t been able to do any performances of any kind with the band, so they’re really excited to finally get going.”

St. Mary’s choir has been a bit more active. They’re pre-recorded a few songs for school celebrations, Mass, and other occasions, but like the band, they haven’t had a live performance either. Watt said they’re looking forward to getting back on stage too.

“The students have been working really hard, and we’re just really hoping to see some familiar faces in the crowd,” Watt said.

Wednesday’s concert is titled ‘A Night at the Theatre’ and features popular songs from movies and Broadway plays. Watt said they chose songs students would be excited to perform. They also wanted to do something for students who didn’t have chance to perform in a Broadway-style musical.

“Our school hasn’t been able to do its school musical since COVID happened,” Watt explained. “This year we did two plays, which is awesome. It’s so great that that was able to happen, but we were missing that musical aspect, so we wanted to give that to them in some way.

“Even though it’s a different way than they’re used to, it’s still giving them that kind of musical Broadway aspect.”

The concert starts with five songs from the band, followed by five songs from the choir. Student Jae Won Kim will perform a violin solo between the two performances.

Watt said she hopes the crowd will enjoy the musical selection as much as the students.

“I wanted the kinds to be able to play things that were fun for them—the songs that they’ve known or that excite them to play—but I also think it’s fun for people to come to band concerts and choir concerts when they are families with the music that’s being played,” she said.

‘A Night at the Theatre’ begins on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the E.A. Rawlinson Centre. Admission is by donation. All proceeds go towards the École St. Mary High School music program.