Jennifer Crusco
Communications Assistant

Festive Music Resounds at Christmas Concert

Demarest, NJ: A light snow and chilly temperatures primed the audience for the 2017 Christmas Concert at the Academy of the Holy Angels. This annual tradition featured seasonal music presented by the AHA Handbell Choir, Vocal Ensemble, Academy Concert Choir, and Academy Orchestra.

Academy Orchestra Director Mariann Annechino and Academy Choral Director Lisa Marciano led their student musicians as they poured out their talents.

The Handbell Choir opened the concert with “’Twas in the Moon of Wntertime,” and continued with the traditional “Kling, Glocken, Kling-a-ling-a-ling,” which showcased the performers’ expert timing and coordination. The group’s final selection was “Do You Hear What I Hear?”

The Vocal Ensemble treated the audience to a sampling of a cappella tunes, including “Bugler’s Holiday,” a stirring arrangement of “Silent Night,” and “Discendi, Amor Santo,” which featured soloist Hanora Chapman of Ramsey. A highlight of the singers’ program was the tongue-in-cheek list of holiday wishes that were presented as part of “Up on the Housetop.” Audience members responded to the unexpected lyrics with appreciative laughter.

Members of the Academy Concert Choir extended the school’s tradition of performing Giulio Caccini’s “Ave Maria.” Each singer proceeded down the aisles of the darkened auditorium holding candles. Mary Macri of Oradell, the principal flutist for the Academy Orchestra, provided accompaniment for this beloved selection.

This year’s choral program also included “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year,” “Carol of the Bells,” “Sure on This Shining Night,” and “Christmas Glory Hallelujiah.” Leah Sanchez of Upper Saddle River and Alexandria Arteaga of Wyckoff were the featured soloists for the last two pieces, respectively.

“Sleigh Ride,” “Sleepers Wake,” and portions of Gustav Holst’s “Second Suite in F” were presented by the Academy Orchestra. The orchestra’s joyful rendition of “Sleigh Ride” was an audience favorite.

Harpist Mary Haws of River Vale, who also plays for the AHA Handbell Choir, provided a solo interlude of “Silent Night.” Haws’ performance preceded the final piece, “God Bless Us Every One,” an exuberant collaboration by the choir and orchestra.

The musical performances were punctuated by comments from AHA President Melinda Hanlon, Principal Jean Mullooly, Dean of Academics Francesca Tambone-Puzio, and Performing Arts Director Dan Mahoney.

Founded by the School Sisters of Notre Dame in 1879, the Academy of the Holy Angels is the oldest private girls’ school in Bergen County. While AHA is steeped in Catholic tradition, this prestigious high school serves young women from a broad spectrum of cultural and religious backgrounds. Over time, thousands of women have passed through AHA’s portals. Many go on to study at some of the nation’s best universities, earning high-ranking positions in medicine, government, law, education, public service, business, arts, and athletics. The Academy’s current leaders continue to further the SSND mission to provide each student with the tools she needs to reach the fullness of her potential—spiritually, intellectually, socially, and physically, by offering a first-rate education in a nurturing environment where equal importance is placed on academic excellence, character development, moral integrity, and service to others.


Academy of the Holy Angels

315 Hillside Avenue Contact Us & Driving Directions

Demarest, NJ 07627

Phone: 201.768.7822

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