Neuqua’s annual Crystal Concert lights up the auditorium with its return to maskless performances

The+Neuqua+Valley+Music+Department+had+their+Crystal+Concert+last+Thursday+and+Friday.

Neuqua Music

The Neuqua Valley Music Department had their Crystal Concert last Thursday and Friday.

Lily Ha, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

Neuqua Valley High School had its annual concert this past weekend to celebrate the holiday season. The concert, known as Crystal Concert, is a 75-minute performance featuring all three departments of Neuqua’s music program- orchestra, band and choir. This year, the winter-themed concert included songs like “Let It Snow” and “Winter Wonderland”.

Musicians had many practices and rehearsals to prepare for the shows, which were held on Dec. 1 and 2.

The concert featured performances from not only each department but also small group ensembles and a finale featuring all musicians.

The 26th Crystal Concert was the first maskless concert after returning from the Coronavirus pandemic. The concert featured a large collection of pieces, and successfully showcased Neuqua’s musical talents.

Marco Rodriguez, a senior and choir member was very excited about this year’s Crystal, especially after a very rough pandemic. 

“I’m especially excited because I personally get to perform with very close friends in a piece for this concert. I recall last year feeling just tired about Crystal and not motivated, but there is a very different feeling this year. I’m very sad as this will be my last crystal, but I am thrilled that I was able to be part of this experience.”

For Junior Aditi Cherukuri, who has been a member of choir since her freshman year, it has been an emotional journey. “Crystal was really great maskless and without all the restrictions from last year because it just gave us the full experience. Singing with masks was fine but our sound traveled further without them. We could also be more expressive without them.”

Nila Senthilkumar, a junior cello player, agrees. “Crystal is my favorite concert of the year and I look forward to it every winter. This year’s Crystal was especially exciting since this was our first full crystal after COVID. My favorite part was definitely the finale since this year  everyone who performed was on stage instead of just the seniors like last year.”

This year will also be extra special for the seniors, who have not had an in-person experience since their freshman year.

Rodriguez feels that this Crystal Concert is very special for many different reasons. “There is a variety of music in all three music classes from classical Christmas music to modernized contemporary music.”

One of the highlights was the finale, which featured the song “Glow” and had the choir members hold candles around the auditorium. The setup of “Glow” was unique, as the candles lit up throughout the song. By the end of the song, the lights of the auditorium went dim, and the candles illuminated the concert.

Crystal has been and will continue to remain an important part of Neuqua’s widely acknowledged music program. 

The Neuqua Valley music department, teachers and all the students have worked incredibly hard to make this concert possible and awe-striking. We applaud and congratulate you on sharing your talents with your fellow Wildcats.