Happy to be back again: The Newman Fine Arts Department delivers a show stopping performance

Did you miss our Christmas Concert? Well, you’re in luck! Read all about who took the stage on the amazing night!


The Covid-19 virus has caused countless changes in our lives, sometimes making us realize the simple things we take for granted. Because of restrictions on large gatherings, concerts have been canceled and replaced with recording sessions in empty rooms. While it was nice to still be able to put together a performance, it just wasn’t the same as having a live audience. 

This past Wednesday, December 8, the Cardinal Newman chorus, band, and dance team made a comeback with their first live concert in over a year. Each and every student and teacher did their best to make this performance something special, practicing hours and hours before school, during lunch, after school, and at home to prepare, and the final result was nothing less than spectacular. 

The show was kicked off by a beautiful dance duet performed by Arisabelle Pierre-Paul (senior) and Francesca Gamero-Faggiano (junior). Chorus I followed, walking in singing “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing” and “Winter Lullaby.” Chorus II members Alessia Prenda, Makayle Rutledge, and Gabriella Treutle joined in singing “Carol of the Bells” with instrumentalists Isabel and Martin Gonzales. Both chorus classes joined together to perform “Do You Hear What I Hear” accompanied by percussionists Shane Rogers and Matthew Martin. Chorus II went on to perform three more songs, “In the Bleak Midwinter” (acapella), “Ave María,” and “Once Upon a December” from the movie Anastasia. 

The chorus then split off into solo and duet performances. Olivia Shiver (junior) performed an elegant piano solo, “First Arabesque” by Claude Debussy. Gabriella Treutle (senior) sang a breathtakingly beautiful Italian aria, “O del mio amato ben” and Alessia Prenda (senior) and Makayle Rutledge (junior) sang “O Holy Night” together, an arrangement they had come up with themselves. The Gonzales family chamber trio followed, performing two songs: “Shepherds and Angels” and “Christmas Canticle” with Martin (senior) on the violin, Isabel (junior) on the flute, and Nathaniel (sophomore) on the cello. 

Chorus II regrouped to perform the merry “Holiday Tango” donning Christmas hats and accessories. Finally, they closed with the out”standing” “Hallelujah Chorus” from The Messiah.

The concert paused for a brief intermission for snacks and socializing before continuing on to the recognition of the seniors. They were brought onstage with close family and friends to accompany them and were presented with a special tumbler or a personalized sash and their notable achievements were announced. We are all very blessed to have had these wonderful musicians and dancers and we will surely miss them next year. 

The show continued with a lively and energetic performance by the full dance ensemble titled “School Friends.” The night closed with the concert band performing five songs. “Highlights from Frozen” and “Music in the Dark” showcased movie soundtracks which were quite challenging to learn and rehearse but came out beautifully. Alessia Prenda conducted “Hanukkah is Here,” a lively piece in minor key. The piece “Christmas Canon” was picked out by Rafael Escoto (junior) and dedicated to Ms. Cathy Holland, who will be retiring after Christmas. Finally, the concert band ended the wonderful night with the classic Christmas song, “Sleigh Ride.”