Editorial Note: 42Fifty co-Editor-in-Chief David Brant, along with 42Fifty Editors Triston Green, Andrew Provost, Jeremy Davis, and Owen Meldon are directly participating in or otherwise involved in the performance and production of the Crystals performance. They were not involved in the reporting, writing, or editing of this story.
The Oswego High School holiday variety show, “Crystals,” is almost done with its rehearsal process, and will premiere this week Saturday, Dec. 7, with an additional show on Sunday, Dec 8.
There will be four total showings of the production: the Dec. 7 performances will be at 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., and the Dec. 8 performances will be at 2 p.m. and 5 p.m.This show is an incredibly popular annual tradition in OHS’s history, this year being the show’s 25th anniversary.
From choir performances, jazz bands, and orchestral numbers, Crystals seems to be one of the more popular events during the OHS school year. Current ticket holders are expecting a show full of spirit, talented performers, and with small changes to keep the show fresh. According to some student performers in the show, this year is going to hold no shortage of those previously mentioned qualities.
Four senior performers— Erik Dralle and Emily Frost of the band program, and Tyler Sendra and Mark Melton of the Vocal Music Department— are no strangers to the Crystals spotlight, and hold much insight on the production as a whole.
Frost, a tuba player in the band program and fourth-year Crystals performer, went in to depth on how the performances are going to be structured, along with audience tradition during the show.
“[Crystals is] an organized chaos I would say, for sure. There’s things going on on all sides of the auditorium,” Frost said. “There is no clapping at all until the very, very end of [each] performance.”
With his fourth and final Crystals performance, Dralle is going to have a lot on his plate. As a tuba and bass player, Dralle has to perform in a jazz combo, the wind symphony, a small tuba/baritone ensemble, and play background music for a solo vocal performance.
Through this massive responsibility Dralle holds, he still manages to keep a positive outlook on how Crystals will affect him.
“Personally, I do so much and everything that a lot of it is just me running around trying to get to places in time,” Dralle said. “It is really a good experience for performing.”
Dralle also has many thoughts on how this year’s Crystals is going to be run differently, especially for the band element of the performance. With this year, the band program will possibly be operating with a substitute band director, Craig Roseleib, replacing Stephanie San Roman. With this loss of a main band director for Crystals, Dralle believes the band is going to have to fend for themselves more often without extra assistance from one of their leaders.
“I feel like we’re gonna have to be a little more independent with going between things and working everything out ourselves,” Dralle said.
With the emphasis on the band’s independence, future audience members will be ready to see not only some staff-assisted performances, but also pure, 100%, student-run .
Sendra, currently on his fourth Crystals performance for the Vocal Music Department, noted how the choir and band programs are intermingled within the whole production.
“There are intermittently exchanged acts where a choir performance will occur, and then a band [performance will occur],” Sendra said. “Go in knowing that there is going to be a lot of good music played!”
Sendra additionally talked further about the production’s content, talking about the show’s values on representation. Not only will this show showcase Christmas-related performances, but it will be a celebration of the holiday spirit in general. The hope is that more audience members will have an opportunity to relate to the show’s content.
As another fourth-year Crystals participant and member of the Vocal Music Department, Melton will be performing in many vocal ensembles. Melton went on to describe his thoughts on the massive size of the production, and how that will play a role on Crystals as a whole this year.
“The scale of it is very big without sacrificing, I think, what makes the music and the holiday season important and special,” Melton said. “I think everyone just feels good after Crystals.”
Frost also highlighted her thoughts on how Crystals in general is important for not only the holidays, but also for OHS culture and music.
“I think the bigger picture of when you go to Crystals is you see the importance of the music coming out of OHS,” Frost said. “It’s such an important part of OHS culture, and you’re going to miss out if you don’t go to it.”