Throughout the month of December, the General Douglas MacArthur High School 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 holiday music to all who heard them play.
The Winter Wind Ensemble, directed by Joseph Romano, is an extra-curricular group comprised of some of the best woodwind players that MacArthur High School has to offer. The ensemble began practices in October to prepare a repertoire of more than two dozen winter holiday selections.
The ensemble performed exceptionally well at each of their three events this season. Their first concert took place on Dec. 12 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 set of music for parents, teachers, administrators and board of education members. To close out the performance, Romano had the entire audience accompany the ensemble by jingling car keys, jewelry and spare change along to the ensemble's rendition of "Jingle Bells."
The second Winter Wind Ensemble performance of the season took place on Dec. 18 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 highlight of this concert was Romano's arrangement of the Christmas classic, "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." The performance featured an impressive clarinet solo played by sophomore Emily Zhang.
On Dec. 21, the Winter Wind Ensemble closed out its season with another of its holiday traditions ?" the 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 Isabella Coley, Elizabeth DelPesce, Kimberly Mestizo and Brianna Moss on flute, Grace Derrick on oboe, Nicole Cheung and Courtney Hakim on clarinet, Allison Appel on bass clarinet and Joseph Novello and George Mavrommatis on percussion.