Shepherd presents community holiday concert

The Shepherd Youth Chorus, directed by Dr. David Gonzol, and the Shepherd Community Orchestra, directed by Mr. Camilo Pérez-Mejía, presented their first concert of the holiday season in the Frank Arts Center Theater on Wednesday, December 12. Department of Music chair, Dr. Robert Tudor, (pictured far right) introduced the show. (Photo by Madison Hale)
The Junior String Ensemble, directed by Shepherd Alumni Renee Shaw Nutwell, opened the show. After her opening presentation, Nutwell walked off stage to allow the junior ensemble to play La Réjouissance without a director. “They’ve been listening to each other so well this semester I just thought they needed a moment to shine,” she said. Nutwell flawlessly went on to lead the ensemble through two more pieces. (Photo by Madison Hale)
The Shepherd Youth Chorus followed next in the program, beginning with an American holiday classic, The New England Boy’s Song About Thanksgiving Day. “Over the river, and through the wood, to grandfather’s house we go…” the group sang. The song was led by David J. Gonzol on his guitar, with Angela Weaver directing. (Photo by Madison Hale)
Following the opening song, Gonzol moved into director position and led the chorus through No. 3 The Blackbird, which he expressed the chorus children had the opportunity to arrange the song themselves. (Photo by Madison Hale)
Gonzol finished the chorus off with Puer natus in Bethlehem, an ancient song sung in Latin. “This is the oldest song we’ve ever done,” said Gonzol. The chorus was accompanied by instrumentalists, some being Shepherd students, adding depth to the song. “Dr. Gonzol is great with the young singers,” Dr. Tudor said. (Photo by Madison Hale)
To close the evening, the Shepherd Community Orchestra led the audience through a variety of classic pieces such as Overture written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. (Photo by Madison Hale)
Throughout the concert, the ages of performers ranged from elementary to senior citizen. “Some of the orchestra members are Shepherd students enrolled in a class, and then some of them are community members that come through the community music school,” Dr. Tudor said, “it’s a lot of fun.” (Photo by Madison Hale)