As holiday breaks approach for all of our local schools, Wharton’s band, orchestra and choir programs will get together to make music in a somewhat unexpected style that has become an annual tradition.

Called “Prism,” it will feature every large performing ensemble in the school’s music department, which includes the band, orchestra and chorus.

“The concert runs in a non-traditional, continuous or circular format,” explains Justin Swaim, music department chair, “with varying performing locations throughout the concert hall.”

So, when one ensemble finishes performing, the spotlight will instantly move to another area of the auditorium and the next piece will begin.

It might go from a vocal solo of a popular holiday song to a string quartet playing a classical piece. Then, the entire orchestra may appear on stage, while the jazz band sets up in the back corner.

Swaim says Prism is a fast-paced, fun and somewhat unexpected evening.

Groups scheduled to perform include Wharton’s Wind Ensemble, Philharmonic Orchestra, Symphonic Band, Wildcat Orchestra, Jazz Band, Lady Catz Choir, Mixed Choir, Percussion Ensemble and smaller ensembles.

The school’s marching band, called Wharton Regiment, will fill the auditorium in a unique way. Typically, its sounds are reserved for outdoor football fields.

But, during Prism, the Wharton Regiment brings a modified version of this season’s halftime show, which scored straight superiors (the highest possible score) at its MPA (Music Performance Assessment) competition last month and features music from Marvel Studios’ “The Avengers.”

From quiet to loud, classical to contemporary, Swaim says that at Prism, “there is always something for all ages and all musical tastes.”

Prism will be held on Friday, December 13, at 7 p.m. in the Wharton High School auditorium, located on the south side of the school (closer to Walmart) at 20150 Bruce B. Downs Blvd.

Admission is $5 for adults and free for students with student ID and children ages 12 and under. All proceeds from admission will go directly to supporting the students participating in the Wharton High music department.

For questions regarding the concert, please email Justin Swaim at justin.swaim@sdhc.k12.fl.us. — CM

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