by Kate Berube
With the return to classrooms full time just a few short weeks ago, the Bayport-Blue Point High School music department was determined to give students the opportunity to safely perform together live for the first time since December of 2019. The recent warm weather and lingering daylight hours made it possible to host a series of outdoor concerts for a small audience. “In a year where so many things have been reimagined, it was great to still be able to enjoy a spring concert,” remarked Bayport Blue-Point Superintendent of Schools Dr. Timothy Hearney.“It was a night of long-lasting memories.”
The BBPHS Chorus and Jazz Choir debuted the concert series on Wednesday evening, performing such hits as “Before you Go” by Lewis Capaldi and “Vienna” by Billy Joel on the front lawn of the High School. The crowd was particularly charmed by the Jazz Choir's rendition of “Build Me Up Buttercup.” “It was a great way to end a really tough year,” mused Emily Denton after the show. “We started the year only being able to sing virtually, so this was a huge step forward to returning to a sense of normalcy.”
For the students graduating in less than a month, the moment was all the more important. “I was a little worried we weren’t going to get to perform all together for the last time,” explained senior Sophia Carroll. “But after school began to be in person again for five days and sports were permitted to have spectators, I was definitely more hopeful.” Despite the challenges, by all accounts the prevailing sentiment seemed to be sheer joy. Wendy Clare, a longtime supporter of BBP arts, perfectly summed up the moment when she said, “I sat there with tears in my eyes listening to the chorus and watching Mrs. Goloski. She was bursting with excitement that you could almost feel. It was truly a gift getting to see the students singing again.”
The following night, Concert, Jazz, and Symphony Band played to an equally enthusiastic audience. “After more than fourteen months of only small, socially distanced ensemble rehearsals, our live in-person performances are being welcomed with such enthusiasm,” exclaimed music teacher Paul Weber. “The music staff are thrilled to once again be able to publicly showcase our talented music students!”
The ever finicky May weather, a challenging factor in the planning, held up for both shows. “The district did a great job arranging for families to be able to see their children play music together,” said thankful parent Jessica Oelcher. “The weather could not have been better; I really hope they consider continuing outdoor concerts in the future. It was a beautiful night.” A glowing sunset painted the sky as the Symphony Band closed out the act with a collection of Hollywood Medley, an epic score to conclude what’s sure to be considered a historic night for BBP music.
Check out the gallery below of scene from the show
Photography by Kate Berube