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Pelham Memorial Orchestra 'Proud' of Performance

PELHAM, N.Y. – The Pelham Memorial High School Orchestra hosted its annual holiday concert in front of a full auditorium on Thursday night. Audience members were captivated by the 35-member orchestra’s renditions of Tchaikovsky’s “March of the Wooden Soldiers,” “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy,” and Anderson’s “Sleigh Ride” amongst six other songs.

Michele Zanky, the orchestra director, was proud of how well her orchestra performed. “They did a really good job tonight,” said the director, who is in her fourth year. “I’m really proud of them.”

Zanky believed the strong performance came from the tight-knit relationship that the students share.  “It’s like a family,” said Zanky. “They’re hard on each other and they laugh together. It’s a great group of kids.”

Considering how difficult the music is to play, she said the students should be proud of themselves. “They’re proud and they know they did a good job,” said Zanky. “They’re very pleased with themselves. They worked hard. This is very difficult music.”

Julliard junior Jonathon Comfort, a baritone, who sang “Torna a Surriento” was thankful for the orchestra. “It’s nice to be able to come in and have everything just click and be able to hear your voice,” he said. “Then the orchestra backed you up with it. It’s interesting to hear the subtleties in their music and it compliments your music that you’re singing.”

Nerves were not a problem for Comfort even as the concert grew closer. “I was excited to do this all this week,” he said. “I’ve practiced and it’s a really fun song to sing. When I first got it, it was kind of nerve-wracking because it was just like learning everything.”

The parents in attendance smiled brightly as they watched their children perform on the stage.

“He did a great job and I’m very proud of him,” David Goldman said of his son, Sam. “He looked good and that’s most important.”

Sam Goldman, a freshman, added, “Usually when you’re practicing by yourself, you hear that one voice, but then when you hear all of the voices it’s a lot better.”

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