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Halloween Eve Concert Leaves Everyone in Good Spirits

Kelly Slonaker

Canterbury hosted its first concert in the Ragland Commons of the Steers Center on Saturday, October 30. Student-musicians, including the Canterbury Rock Band, Contemporary Music Band, and Jazz-Rock-Pop Ensemble, performed in the October Music Festival to the delight of students and faculty. The musicians rehearsed for weeks leading up to the concert and provided a wide range of tunes to showcase their talents and interests.

The Canterbury Rock Band played older rock classics and new hits, including Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son,” Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” Greta Van Fleet’s “Talk On the Street,” and Queen’s “Somebody to Love.” Band members included Asher Hughes ’24 (vocals and electric guitar), Morgan Lau ’24 (vocals and guitar), Andrew Martin ’23 (vocals), Kat McDonough ’24 (vocals, guitar), Ryan Oemcke ’24 (electric guitar), Patrick Toon ’25 (electric guitar), and Jack Wang ’23 (drums).

The Contemporary Music band played a diverse program of jazz, blues, and funk music coupled with pop and R&B. For their first performance of the year, the group performed music from recent artists, such as Alicia Keys and Lauren Hill, and classics, including Nina Simone. The Contemporary Music Band includes members Ryan DeSantis ’22 (trumpet), Mark “Maverick” Foster ’22 (tenor saxophone), Alessandra King ’22 (vocals), Connor Koh ’23 (drums), Xavier Leone ’23 (bass), Emerson Lilly ’25 (vocals), Jiarui (Jerry) Liu ’25 (piano), and Lisa Weng ’23 (vocals). 

The Jazz-Rock-Pop Ensemble played a variety of jazz pieces—including “Beg, Borrow and Steal” by George Shutack, “All Dem Leaves” by Ryan Erik Adamsons, and “Deacon Jack’s Gospel Shack” by Paul Murtha—which allowed for full-ensemble play as well as individual, improvised solos. Band members spanned all Forms and included Irene Chen ’24 (piano), Connor Koh ’23 (trumpet and drums), Isabella Mavuli ’25 (trumpet), Stephen Hraska ’25 (trombone), and Gavin Winters ’25 (alto saxophone), with group and solo performances by Mark “Maverick” Foster ’22 (tenor saxophone), Xavier Leone ’23 (alto saxophone), and Ryan DeSantis ’22 (trumpet). 

In addition to the musical performances, students enjoyed other Halloween-themed activities leading up to the holiday, such as a night of pumpkin-carving and scary movies, a display of costumes at Friday’s School Meeting, and community service opportunities, including baking goods to be donated to the Dorothy Day Hospitality House in Danbury, CT, and the Loaves and Fishes Hospitality House in New Milford, CT, and passing out candy to the children of Canterbury faculty and staff on Halloween evening.

Well done to all our musicians for a spooky and spectacular concert!


Watch the recording