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The Student News Site of Concord-Carlisle Regional High School

The Voice

Concord-Carlisle High School's Student Newspaper
The Student News Site of Concord-Carlisle Regional High School

The Voice

Concord-Carlisle High School's Student Newspaper

PRISM 2023

Mr. Noce and Ms. Grina’s Reflections on This Year’s Musical Kaleidoscope

Note: A version of this article was published in the 12/15 issue of the Concord Bridge.

Violins, trombones, flutes, voices, and… bubbles? This year’s PRISM concert by Concord-Carlisle High School’s Performing Arts Department at 7pm on Friday, December 15 and Saturday, December 16 might excite some with the return of last year’s bubble machine, but there’s something even more noteworthy: it marks the first-ever time that PRISM will include student-led ensembles not only from the bands and orchestras but also from the choirs.

Bubbles during “Under the Sea” at last year’s PRISM concert.

Christopher Noce, CCHS’s Director of Bands & Orchestras, says that incorporating chorus students into PRISM has always been a goal because “it fits in with our philosophy as a department” and “creates a lot of unique opportunities for students.” Sarah Grina, the new Choral Director, adds that accompanying vocalists is a new skill that can allow students to “[stretch] themselves in new ways musically.” Grina adds that this year’s PRISM will feature performers from across the entire department beyond the instrumental program, including chorus and theatre, and even some faculty and staff. From Grina’s perspective as a teacher in her first year at CCHS, she is already “impressed by the scope of this concert” and “curious” to experience it for the first time.

But Grina says that as excited as she is for this new project, it has been challenging figuring out “how to fit it all together and how to best use this collaboration.” The milestone comes amid the busy season of numerous other performing arts opportunities that also require careful preparation of additional repertoire, including the recent successes of MMEA Senior Districts festival auditions, fall choral and instrumental concerts, holiday in-school pop-up performances, and the choral collage concert with the middle schools in January. Despite these challenges, Noce describes that “one of the hallmarks of the performing arts department is our flexibility” given the inevitability of scheduling complications around this season. As Grina says, “It’s an experimental year… Our priority is getting as many students as we can involved.”

Combined Chorus performing at the fall choral concert this October, “Dawn,” which was new Choir Director Sarah Grina’s first concert at CCHS.

PRISM has always been one of the annual highlights of CC Performing Arts. Noce describes that it is “a one-of-a-kind concert” in that it is “almost entirely student-run.” “Students are always at the center of what we do, but PRISM is unique,” he says. “Students really do guide that night… Someone coming to this performance will absolutely walk away in awe of [their] hard work and vision.” Grina furthers that the event showcases the inspiring “professionalism, leadership, and organization” of the students, and “[showcases] the wide range of talents and interests both onstage and backstage.”

The other defining feature of PRISM is that it “[utilizes] every possible space in the auditorium, especially the non-traditional spaces,” which Noce says “creates lots of unique opportunities for our technical theatre folks to come up with solutions to problems.” Other tech students dedicate themselves to lighting effects and run crew, executing “complicated transitions on stage… with silence and speedy precision,” in Noce’s words. PRISM’s most well-known tagline, “a non-stop musical kaleidoscope,” captures the essence of the groups and their music enveloping the entire auditorium quite literally, with students performing from the stage to the alcoves to the catwalks. “The audience might even be surprised to find there’s a group sitting next to them,” Noce says.

Student performances at last year’s PRISM concert.

This year’s audiences can anticipate over 30 and up to 40 small student-directed “exciting and unique performances” encompassing a “wild” variety of music, ranges across and beyond jazz, klezmer, “90’s saxophone-centered grunge,” movie soundtracks, classical repertoire, and boy band music. “Everyone will hear something they like and something they know and… something they [don’t know],” says Noce. There will even be a raffle at the door for the opportunity to conduct one of PRISM’s most iconic group numbers, Sleigh Ride! 

Noce concludes that ultimately, PRISM is an event with “a lot of fun and silliness” that “gives us a chance to show [the audience] that although we take what we do seriously, we don’t take ourselves too seriously.” 

Purchase tickets for the PRISM concert by scanning the QR codes displayed around town, or visit ccinstrumental.org. Tickets cost $12 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. Tickets will be sold at the door, but audience members are strongly urged to purchase in advance before they sell out!

Student performances at last year’s PRISM concert.
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