Band and Orchestra play perfectly at annual Pops and Pastries performance

Amanda Frantz '23, Supervising Photographer

The Band and Orchestra’s Pops and Pastries concert returned this year on November 5. Audience members dined on baked goods in the Main Gym while listening to five groups perform a range of compositions from Beethoven to Pirates of the Caribbean.

For the first time since the beginning of the pandemic, pastries returned to Pops and Pastries, as heightened COVID-19 restrictions had discontinued this aspect of the tradition in recent years. The concert is a longstanding tradition of more than 50 years, according to Director of Orchestras James Gross.

“(Pops and Pastries) is one of our traditions here at South, so it’s very special in that way,” Gross said. “We have many traditions here, and this is one of the many traditions that make South a great place.”

As Director of Orchestras for 18 years, Gross has played a large role in the history of instrumental music at South. Tadhg Sahutske ’23, who plays violin in Symphony Orchestra, says that the instrumental programs would not be the same without him.

“South Orchestra is really good because we’ve got a teacher that is so dedicated to it,” Sahutske said. “Mr. Gross is wonderful.”

Pops and Pastries featured 140 students across five of South’s instrumental music groups: Symphony Orchestra, Concert Orchestra, Symphony Band, Wind Ensemble, and Jazz Band. Dagueneau Jewell ’24 is a percussionist in Symphony Band, Marching Band, and Full Orchestra and says that these programs have fostered a sense of community among students.

“It’s fun to create and practice music with friends and to get better at something with people you enjoy,” Jewell said. “I’ve made a lot of friends who I wouldn’t know if it wasn’t for Band.”