Ridgefield High music students to perform Dec. 11 showcase

The RHS music community is looking forward to the upcoming concert on Dec. 11 where the students’ hard work and musical talents will be showcased.

Featured ensembles will be Concert Band, Wind Ensemble, Concert Choir, Concert Orchestra, and Symphonic Orchestra. The night will be filled with repertoire such as Ruslan and Ludmilla, the finale movement of Tchaikovsky’s 2nd Symphony, Marche Militaire Francaise, Early one Morning, Elgar’s Nimrod, 1812 Overture and more.

The RHS Music program has been very busy these past few months. Small ensembles like Chamber Orchestra and the Robust 7 have performed at Ridgefield Crossings and several Funk Nights hosted at the Village Tavern. A FunkRaiser date has been set, April 24 at the Ridgefield Playhouse, and RMAC & Cheese is Friday, Dec. 6, during the Holiday Stroll.

RMAC & Cheese is a fundraiser for Ridgefield Music Matters, a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to supporting music programs in the entire district. The night will have groups such as the Robust 7, the Jazz Band, and other combos from the music department to provide entertainment as guests enjoy mac’n cheese. It will take place in front of the library from 6-9 p.m.

Looking ahead, the music community is excited for a collaborative performance with SPHERE and the orchestra program at the Playhouse on Feb. 9. All large ensembles also will attend Fantastic Festivals in May, a regional competition where ensembles go for an adjudication and competition. The orchestras received superior ratings and taken first place at every competition, and the bands always placed in the top three. The groups alternate between overnight festival trips and this regional one, having visited Disney last year and Virginia Beach two years prior.

Ridgefield High School also welcomes George Beratis as the new full-time band director. The band and orchestra programs had both more than doubled in size under the direction of Michael McNamara, and the increased enrollment warranted some additional support.

“Mr. Beratis is such a great addition to our team,” said McNamara, now only the orchestra director. “Under his guidance, the bands are getting some superb instruction from a knowledgeable pedagogue. It’s also impossible not to love him. The students agree, and our program has become prosperous. Between his efforts and what Kevin Haines is doing with the choir and music tech programs, all pistons are firing.”

To learn more, visit www.ridgefieldhsmusic.org. You can also learn more about Ridgefield Music Matters at www.ridgefieldmusicmatters.org.