Silent Night performance blows students away

Esosa Ekho and Morgan Tyler were amazed by the performance.

Esosa Ekho and Morgan Tyler were amazed by the performance.

Used with permission of Lambert Broadcasting

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Though few have heard of it previous to its debut, the Silent Night concert was an event to remember.

On October 17, the Lambert Orchestra, Chorus, and Dance Company collaborated with the Atlanta Opera to perform a show about the WWI Christmas Truce in 1914.

Joe Sweeney came up with the idea, and his inspiration derived from learning about the historical event in AP European History, as it was his favorite class last year. He originally planned the show as a field trip for AP Euro Students.

“After thinking about it, I realized that the orchestra would like to be in something like that,” Sweeney said, “and then, it sort of snowballed and more and more departments kept getting involved and now we have this amazing performance.”

He met with his AP Euro teacher, Mrs. Rhetta Roy, and asked about preparing a collaboration with the Atlanta Opera.

Planning for the concert began in May, and the Atlanta Opera’s role ended up to be bigger than they originally planned. Though the Atlanta Opera originally meant to aid the performers, they later brought in their own opera singer and the costumes the soldiers wore.

The story of the Christmas Truce also warmed people’s heart. In the bitter coldness of winter in 1914, two enemies, the Germans and the French & British, came together for a Christmas Truce, where they sang songs, told stories, and played soccer. It took much force for them to continue shooting at each other afterwards.

Three students, Thomas McFerran, Zane Rogers, and Dean McKenzie, each represented a different nation in wartime by acting out the Christmas Truce and reading from journals of actual soldiers.

“It was eye opening to see how they stopped for Christmas, gut-wrenching to see how they had to go back, powerful to see how they shot away from their enemies,” senior Gabriel Fontana said.

The Lambert chorus and orchestra’s collaborative performance highlighted the soldiers’ feelings of loneliness and wanting to go home. The performance of LHS Dance Company’s Anna Zhao in “War” showed the harshness of the war the soldiers had to go through.

One of the audience’s favorite performances was Silent Night. Of all the performances, Sweeney says that the Silent Night part is his favorite as well. After all the build-up and performances from different parts, the various departments come together for a single, touching performance. Silent Night was sung to brighten and warm people’s hearts, and this goal was reached, as seen by the big round of applause from the audience.

The students watching the performance were exposed to performances they probably had little opportunity to see previously. After asking her favorite part, Roy said, “Watching kids watch the opera singer.. They were blown away. I have heard that from my students…”

Fontana said, “I loved the string ensemble couple with the fantastic student performances.” All Avery Dekshinieks, another senior, had to say was that the performance was “profoundly beautiful.”

Though the Silent Night Project brought together performances students would probably not have experienced before, it certainly impacted students.