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Winter Wind Ensemble Giving the Gift of Music During the Holiday Season
December 23, 2016


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Throughout the month of December, the MacArthur Winter Wind Ensemble continued its long-standing tradition of holiday concerts in and around the Levittown community. From school board meetings, shopping malls and high school hallways, the group shared the gift of wonderful holiday music to all who heard them play.

Under the direction of Mr. Joseph Romano, the Winter Wind Ensemble is an extra-curricular group comprised of some of the best woodwind players that MacArthur High School has to offer. The ensemble began practices back in October to prepare a repertoire of more than two dozen winter holiday selections.

The Winter Wind Ensemble performed exceptionally well at each of their three events this season. Their first concert took place on Wednesday, December 7 in the auditorium of the Levittown Memorial Education Center just before the meeting of the Levittown Board of Education. The Winter Wind Ensemble earned a rousing ovation from the audience after playing a half-hour long set of music for parents, teachers, administrators and members of the Board of Education. To close out this performance, Mr. Romano got the entire audience to accompany the ensemble by jingling car keys, spare change and jewelry on the choruses to the holiday classic, Jingle Bells.

The second Winter Wind Ensemble performance of the season took place on Thursday, December 22 at the Broadway Mall in Hicksville. The ensemble played joyfully for parents, friends and family as well as the numerous holiday shoppers and mall employees who stopped to listen. A feature of this concert was the ensemble's rendition of Mr. Romano's arrangement of the Christmas classic, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. The performance featured an impressive clarinet solo played by James May.

Another highlight of the Broadway Mall concert was the inclusion of two MacArthur Band alumni who joined back up with the ensemble to play their holiday favorites - Caitlyn Derrick (class of 2014) and Emily May (class of 2014) on clarinet.

On Friday, December 23, the Winter Wind Ensemble closed out its season with another of its holiday traditions - their annual "passing period" performances. For this event, the ensemble serenaded students, faculty and staff alike with "mini-concerts" as they made their way through the halls in between classes.

This year's Winter Wind Ensemble was led by some talented musicians including seniors Alyssa Breeze, Kaitlin Deegan, Carissa Giuliano, Jailyn Lopez, Julia Riley and Ashley Ventura on flute; Kelsey Rosa on oboe; James May on clarinet; Julia DeVincentis on bass clarinet; and John Dambra on Contra Alto Clarinet. Setting the tempo and adding a special musical touch to each arrangement was George Mavrommatis on percussion.