The Music of Winter: Sunlake’s Music Programs


Stefanie Hopper

Sunlake’s Concert Band and Wind Ensemble join together to perform Sleigh Ride to close out the night.

Alexis Hopper, Editor

At the very end of each year, Sunlake’s music programs come together to put on a show celebrating the winter season. Playing mostly Christmas music or other songs to represent the season, the bands, chorus, and colorguard perform for anyone who wishes to watch.

The Concert Band plays under the direction of Mr. Bonko (Stefanie Hopper)

The Concert Band performed songs such as Grandma Got Runover by a Reindeer and The 3-Minute Nutcracker. Being composed of mostly freshmen and sophomores, this was the first time many members had been in a high school concert. Freshman Carson Brown on trombone says that his first high school winter concert felt “great” and that he was “glad to be a part of the ensemble.” He enjoyed the two songs they played, and most of all he “enjoyed performing a solo.” His favorite memory of the day was “playing sleigh ride at the end” of the concert.


The Wind Ensemble plays under the direction of Mr. Slaughter (Stefanie Hopper)

The Wind Ensemble played a 10-minute song titled Russian Christmas Music. Sophomore Joseph Houck on trombone says he “especially liked performing Sleigh Ride with the concert band because it’s a really fun piece and we did it with all of the members of the band [program].” His favorite parts of the songs were when “the trombones get the melody and get to play loud” or “at the very end with the trumpets making a sound like a horse and the whip crack right after.” His favorite part of the day was “having floor time with my friends before and after the concert because it’s very nice to have time with my friend group.”


The Percussion Ensemble performs under the direction of Mr. Bonko (Stefanie Hopper)

The percussion ensemble performed You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch. Junior Quawn Green says he “enjoyed all of the songs I participated in, even harder ones like Russian Christmas Music.” His favorite part of the ensemble’s performance was when “during the piece, a peer did a voiceover and what was funny at the concert was that the mic wasn’t working and the note had to be held extra long.” Though that was entertaining, his favorite part of the night was just “hanging out in Wesley Chapel’s band room with all of my friends waiting to be called to stage.”

The choir performs under the direction of Mr. Slaughter (Stefanie Hopper)

The concert chorus performed Jingle Bell Rock and Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. Senior Kayla Rodriguez, an alto, says she enjoyed most of the songs she performed, “especially Mary Did You Know because that’s the one I suggested” but on the other hand, she did not enjoy Jingle Bell Rock because “it was very basic and it was added on the day before the actual concert, so even though it was basic it still wasn’t very well practiced.” Her favorite part of the song was “in Mary Did You Know there is this part where we all interchangeably sing ‘Mary did you know’ and the altos had a nice riff.” Her favorite part of the day was “right before I did my solo when I was watching my friend Lily do hers. It reminded me why I stayed with choir all 4 years of highschool.” While this was her favorite, “doing my solo was a close second favorite memory.”

A colorguard group performs to Born This Way from Alvin and the Chipmunks. (Stefanie Hopper)

The colorguard splits into small groups and performs their own choreography. Participating in ensembles to the song Born This Way and Friend Like Me, Sophomore Haylie Chambliss says she “had a lot of fun performing and getting to show my friends and family what skills I’ve learned especially because my fall season was cut short in the last two weeks.” She loved “being in the dressing room before the performance with everyone.” Before their performance, she and other guard members were “hanging out and messing around along with helping each other when practicing giving encouragement and helpful tips.” Her favorite part of her performances was “the dance part in Friend Like Me because it was so upbeat and really fun to learn and do.”