Music department holds emotional final concerts

Sophia Comas, Online Editor-in-Chief

As the conductor lowers his baton, the sheet music is put away and instrument cases are lugged off by their players for the final time, Manhattan High walks the halls with hearts heavy and eyes bright after ending their last concerts of the year.

“After six years of performing, I was no longer nervous. It was just me playing with my peers and fellow classmates,” Joseph Salvatierra, senior, said. “It was honestly exhilarating because it’s something you always think about but are never really ready for, like a lucid dream or graduation.”

Salvatierra and the rest of his fellow orchestra members spent the weeks before their concert on May 7 working towards having the best final concert of the year as well as spending the small amounts of time they had left together as a group.

Although the final concerts are seen as concluding successes for band, orchestra and choir, they’re also seen as the last goodbye for those who won’t return the following year.

“The worst part will be that we’re going to lose all of our seniors and that’s the part we’re not ready for,” Josh Brandt, junior, said. “It’s definitely going to be a big task because they’ve done so much for us.”

For the underclassmen, the seniors’ absence is the hardest part. However, for the seniors, it’s knowing they can’t continue to pursue their passion with the friends they’ve had for so long.

“Many friends and older classmen from years past have always gotten emotional and I can certainly say that those emotions are justified,” Salvatierra siad. “My goals have been set for awhile but I’m ready for what is to come after.”

The underclassmen are also working to fill the shoes of those who have mentored them for so long. While the seniors can never be forgotten or replaces, the juniors and sophomores who will follow their lead are working to do justice by the legacy they left behind.

“It’s important that we do a lot for our band sophomores, juniors and freshmen,” Brandt said. “Just so we can try to live up to what our seniors do.”

Along with the emotional task of saying goodbye, the groups must also prepare their performing skills to end their year on a good note, so to speak. After months of careful preparation, the band, who will play today at 7 p.m., finally feels ready for what they’ve set out to do.

“We’ve been preparing pieces since March,” Brandt said. “We have two specific pieces that we’re doing.”

Despite the heart-felt emotions most of the groups will experience, it becomes easier once they’ve acknowledged the reality of the future that lies ahead.

“Mostly, it’s accepting that it’s inevitable,” Brandt said.