Darby students participate in ProMusica’s side-by-side sing-a-long

The Columbus ProMusica Chamber Orchestra performs the Messiah by George Frideric Handel each year along with high school students from all over central Ohio. The event, that took place at the Southern Theater on Friday, December 7th, has become a holiday tradition that many families and friends gather to participate in. This year, four members of the Darby Chamber Orchestra played alongside the ProMusica orchestra on stage. Cellists Emma Vazquez and Marisa Allen, violinist Daniel Tai, bassist Sarah Bryant, were selected to perform.

  After arriving at the theater, there was a quick rehearsal before the big performance. This was the first and only rehearsal the ProMusica and high school players had with each other for the event.

  The Messiah Side-by-side Sing-along concert consisted of an orchestra performing the piece while the audience sang the words. It was conducted and hosted by Robert Ward, the current director of choral studies at the Ohio State University. Guest conductors were introduced before each part of the Messiah to lead the orchestra and the audience together. This allowed students to experience a wide variety of conducting techniques and required a lot of focus from them in order to stay together and in tempo. Each high school performer was seated next to a ProMusica performer on stage so they could ask questions and learn more about being part of a professional orchestra.

  Sarah Bryant explained what makes the event so enjoyable and why she loved participating in it this year.

  “This was my first year doing the Side-by-side concert with ProMusica. I really enjoyed that the crowd was the choir! I felt like I was giving a concert to them but they were giving me a concert in return,” she shared.

  The voices of the audience members and the orchestra completely filled the theater, and the holiday spirit was alive in each participant. In between parts of the Messiah, Mr. Ward gave a brief history of the piece and had the audience roaring with laughter.

  Junior Emma Vazquez spoke about her favorite part of participating in the Messiah sing-along.

  “This is the second year I’ve done [the Side-by-side Sing-along]. My favorite part is being able to play the Hallelujah chorus because that is by far my favorite piece from the symphony,” she explained.

  The Hallelujah chorus is one of the most well known choruses in the Messiah, and the Darby Chamber Orchestra and the band will be performing it at their joint Celebration Concert this week.
  The ProMusica Side-by-side concert was a major success, and by the end of the performance, almost every member of the audience was standing and singing along while the orchestra played. It was the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit and kick off this cold winter season!

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