This year’s Parent’s Weekend Concert marks Hill’s first live and in-person performance in two years


Senior Master of the Arts Margaret Neiswender leads Hill’s orchestra during the Parent’s Weekend Concert. Photo Courtesy of Hill Snapshots.

This year’s Parent’s Weekend Concert was able to perform, making it Hill’s first concert in two years since the onset of COVID-19. Knowing how to sing, dance, and play an instrument were not the only things to make this performance happen. A lot more was needed for it to take place. 

Even though the students performed in-person for the first time since COVID-19 protocols started, it didn’t mean the pandemic was out of sight or out of mind. “We all wore our masks obviously, except for the instruments – woodwinds and others – that require your mouth and your breath to play. We tried to keep the sections fairly separate,” Callie Connelly ’22, president of the orchestra, said. 

Yoon Soo Lim, the director of vocal music, also stated that this concert was “a very special one because it was our first concert in two years on that stage. Because of COVID, we haven’t had time to sing as a group or get ready for concerts. This concert, as it was a special one, it was also a very hard one, because everybody was out of practice.”  

 The directors had the more experienced performers help everyone adjust from not practicing as often to being in-person, with only five weeks to prepare. “The 5th and 6th formers were great leaders as they had the institutional memories we relied on to help prepare for the concert and play with the confidence of having performed successfully on the CFTA stage,” recalled Margaret Neiswender, director of instrumental music. 

Lim and Neiswender both said that because of COVID-19 the song selection had to be carefully done. 

“We used to perform all the time; every five weeks we would have a concert. So, we went from a very busy schedule to having nothing and having to produce everything online. The songs I needed to pick were songs that were accessible to practice and for my singers to easily learn within one month,” Lim said.  

Neiswender explained, “The musical selections were based on the specific instrumentation within the ensemble and the knowledge that we had five weeks to prepare.” 

Laura Cobbs, the dance instructor, said that the song “We Go Together” from Grease was chosen to be “an excellent energetic moment for the audience.”  

“Excitement all along! We were honored to be a part of the Parent’s Weekend Concert and hope to do so every year,” Cobbs stated, as this was the first Parent’s Weekend Concert that was a “collective performance” with all the performing arts groups.

Connelly admitted that she was “a little nervous going in beforehand because we had such little time to prepare for it, but it was really exciting to have an audience back.” 

The Winter Instrumental Concert will be on Friday, Feb. 4, at 7:15 p.m. in the CFTA theater!