‘Hauntcert’ has senior performers feeling ‘spirited’

The Hauntcert, Community’s annual Halloween orchestra performance, returns on Thursday, Oct. 28, to the NCHS auditorium after COVID-19 forced the show’s cancellation last year.

This year’s program, “Escape!,” features the Chamber, Intermezzo, and Sinfonia orchestras performing animal-themed songs along with costumed dancers, singers, actors, and percussionists.

The three ensembles are set to perform a range of works — songs from popular animal movies like “The Lion King,” “Sing!” and “Pink Panther” to classics like selections from “Swan Lake,” “The Carnival of the Animals,” and Henry Mancini’s “Baby Elephant Walk.”

Two performances are scheduled — at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. — in an attempt to alleviate crowding issues.

Before each show, Miller Park’s ZooToYou program will host animals outside the auditorium beginning at 5:15 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Trick-or-treating begins at the same times in the Junior and Senior hallways.

With the show’s return to the stage, Chamber Orchestra seniors shared their thoughts on their third and final Hauntcert.

Violinist Audrey Schuller looked forward to this year’s performance ever since last year’s cancellation, describing the Hauntcert as some of their “fondest memories of orchestra.”

After last year, there was “a Hauntcert shaped hole in my heart,” Schuller said.

The Hauntcert is cellist Lily Kreun’s favorite performance of the year.

“We get to play with the other orchestras,” Kreun said. “We typically don’t get to do that, so it’s just a good time.”

Despite the three orchestras having few combined rehearsals leading up to the Hauntcert, violinist Sharon Newton is “really excited” and thinks the ensemble sounds “really good.”

“It’s always a fun concert,” Newton said, “because all the lights are off, and we have an emcee. The music is music we know; it’s not just classical.”

Viola player Alyssa Conley is excited for the Hauntcert’s return too.

“I’ve been doing it since freshman year,” Conley said. “I’m looking forward to it. I have a lot of friendships now” in the group, “so it’s really just fun.”

“I think it’s going to be a really good performance especially since we didn’t have one last year,” Conley said. “I know everybody’s been working really hard.”