There was a noise in the hallway— some floating melody and hums of harmonies that drifted to and from each classroom. It was not the season for caroling where the music department plays Christmas tunes, but rather a day of love and joyful festivities that made the entirety of Memorial High School oooh and aww! at the lovely music that swelled each classroom. This year at Memorial, the music department pulled together something new; instead of just delivering carnations, music presidents Allie Richards, Chloe Robidoux, Corie Brown, and myself organized five small ensembles to perform musical serenades. It worked like this: students would purchase a serenade as if they were purchasing a carnation. They would give their name, whom they were sending it to and their room number, and then a special song request. The songs on our playlist this year were “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, “I’m Yours”, “I Won’t Give Up”, and “Just the Way You Are”. Small ensembles from all choir, band, and orchestra performed for students and teachers alike at Memorial, sending love through each note.
What seemed odd about this sale was blaringly obvious; we only sold them for one day. That’s right. In a last-minute frenzy to organize harmonies, split instruments and voice parts into groups, arrange music and construct lead sheets, we had but one day to prepare everything before we started our sales. Yet the amazing fact that we sold over twenty serenades and raised over one hundred dollars in one day shows that the power of music, while perhaps intangible, is something just as genuine— if not more— as a carnation, pack of sweet hearts; you name it. People were asking the small ensembles to perform on the spot, throwing dollar bills left and right. Luckily our groups were ready with only 2 days over the weekend and the extra snow day. The snow day eliminated our practice, making all groups come in Tuesday morning with no cohesive rehearsal whatsoever… but they made it come together in a matter of minutes.
If the serenades at Memorial can leave any message, it is obviously one of romance, but also one that shows the dedication and talent of all the musicians apart of the music department. With such limited time, we promise that next year there will be more time to sell, more songs to perform, and more ensembles to go around. When a couple of people put their heads together to make something happen, we proved how magical it can be. Why, even I have never seen Mr. Adamakos so ecstatic as when my group serenaded him with “Just the Way You Are”. This will hopefully become a music tradition at Memorial, one that will live on long after I have graduated. One fun idea turned into something everyone should cherish— both for romance and music.