TONIGHT: Friends Select Winter Concert


Friends Select’s Winter Concert has been an iconic part of any FSS winter for as long as most of the FSS community can remember. The 2021-2022 Winter Concert, affectionately referred to as the “Sprinter Concert” by FSS students this year, was originally planned for January 2022, however, due to the Omicron variant and subsequent COVID surge, it was postponed to March 18th, 2022. This concert will be the first time that the instrumental ensemble will be performing in the Blauvelt Theater since January 2020, and the first time that they will be performing for a full audience since early March 2020. 

Tonight’s concert will feature “a little bit of everything that we do in our Upper School music program,” says FSS Music Department Chair Heather Fortune. Audiences can expect performances by the choir, chamber orchestra, percussion ensemble, lab band, and the full instrumental ensemble. These ensembles will be playing traditional African music, contemporary classical, rock, and pop music, musical theatre, and “all kinds of different stuff.” 

Specific details about the content of the show will be kept as a surprise, but Heather reveals that a “lot of energy has been put into the lab band’s set,” and that the choir will showcase some “really awesome soloists.”

Nandi Bayard ‘24, one of the choir’s soloists, says that she has heard wonderful things about all of the ensembles that will be performing, and that “the students and teachers who are a part of this concert have worked hard in order to make this performance happen.”

Though the concert’s date has changed, the content of the show has not, says Olukayode Ekundare ‘25, a pianist in the instrumental ensemble. Heather notes that a major struggle with organizing the performance during the Omicron variant was that some students weren’t able to take the class in the second semester. This meant that those performers had to hold the music that they had prepared during the first semester, and come back for only a few rehearsals during the third quarter. While there were certainly some challenges that this presented, she recalls that it was “also kind of cool to put something down and then pick it back up, and see how much better you can make it.” 

The show as a whole, Heather says, will be “a celebration of really returning to this community space, where we can come and be together, and enjoy a concert together, feel the vibrations in the room, and really spend that time together, so the whole vibe is going to be super celebratory.” 

For anyone who may still be hesitant to attend the Winter Concert, Olukayode says that they should “come see it, because it’s going to be pretty cool”, and Nandi encourages students to “support their peers and spend their Friday evening listening to some great music.”