Wauwatosa West Orchestra Produces Virtual Kinderkonzert


Wauwatosa West Orchestra

A section of Wauwatosa West Orchestra students record their performance of “Deck the Halls with Good King Wencelas” for their virtual Kinderkonzert.

Lillian Kiacofe

At the annual Kinderkonzert, most adults enjoy the fun, cheerful holiday music that is played, whereas the kids favor getting to test out all of the instruments during the instrument “petting zoo.” The Kinderkonzert has many events and activities such as an appearance by Santa, festive treats, crafts, and of course, a short holiday concert, but this year the in-person event was cancelled due to COVID-19 and the concert was held virtually.

“I tried to pick pieces that I thought might work for the different cohorts and unbalanced instrumentation. For example, a couple of the pieces were “flexible arrangements” where any instrument could play the melody,” said Wauwatosa West Orchestra teacher Tiffany Chang.

The following songs were included in this year’s setlist:

Deck the Halls with Good King Wenceslas, arranged by Monday
Here Comes Santa Claus, arranged by Larry Moore
My Candles (in the Window), arranged by Brendan McBrien
Nutcracker Jam, arranged by: Michael Hopkins
Sweet Petite Winter Suite, composed by Brian Balmages
Up on the Housetop, arranged by McAllister

The decision to pick flexible pieces ended up being a beneficial decision by Chang. Even though this wasn’t the first concert that had been put on by the orchestra this year, the Kinderkonzert had some unexpected issues.

“On the days that we recorded, we were missing a number of students because of quarantine,” Chang said.

There are plenty of events that can make recording a concert virtually stressful, yet, pre filming the concert does have some positives to it.

“If our live concert is during a nap time or if someone from orchestra wants to share their music with friends or family who live far away, I do see the advantage in having a video to send out later,” Chang said.

This year’s concert marked the 22nd annual Kinderkonzert.

West freshman Daisy Lehnman said, “I vaguely remember going to the Kinderkonzert as a kid. I don’t remember too much, just that I always had the best times when I was there.”

Watch this year’s virtual Kinderkonzert at this link.