Hill Jazz Ensemble and Orchestra brought positive energy to their concert


Media: Jason Zhou '23

The Hill orchestra performs at their Feb. 4 winter concert.

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  • Wesley Connelly ‘22 solos on his saxophone during the winter Jazz Ensemble concert.

  • Margaret Neiswender leads the Hill orchestra as the conductor.

  • Hill Jazz Ensemble rhythm section focuses on the ongoing piece.

  • The brass section of the Hill Jazz Ensemble performs to the crowd.

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The Jazz Ensemble and Hill Orchestra opened the doors for this season’s winter concerts on Feb. 4. The audience was impressed by the hard work that Margaret Neiswender, the director of instrumental music, prepared. Several people said that they loved the selection of pieces. “I loved the choices of the music and the musicians playing solos,” said Katy Hudak, Hill’s academic dean and parent of Jazz Ensemble member Amanda Hudak ’24.

Mrs. Hudak added, “I was amazed at how much they could accomplish in such a short amount of time. As an English teacher, I would be very nervous if I had to put my student’s work on the wall in just a few weeks or even months.” 

Coming back to school from winter break, the COVID-19 pandemic forced distance between people and created a harsh environment on campus; but the concert’s music restored people’s mood. “‘The Impression that I Get’ played by Jazz Ensemble was energetic – great sound – which made me feel impressive enough to give a positive vibe like hope. ‘Ashokan Farewell,’ played by Orchestra, included a violin, and clarinet solo part, and it made me feel calm and relaxed,” Adelyn Sim ’24 said. 

Musicians in the Jazz Ensemble and Orchestra felt similar emotions after the concert was over. Yvonne Bao ’25, who plays piano in the Jazz Ensemble, said, “I am very excited and proud of myself, and my whole team, especially the soloists. They worked their best and practiced a lot for those several seconds of the performances.” 

Students expressed gratitude toward their conductor. “Mrs. Neiswender: thank you so much for providing an opportunity to showcase our talents and being able to put on this concert of Orchestra and Jazz Ensemble,” said cello player Rena Zhang ’25.

For more information on the concert, click here