It started with the Madrigal Singers strolling into the auditorium dressed in Renaissance costumes and singing Christmas carols. It ended with the Largo High School Concert Choir joining forces with the school's band in a rendition of Handel's Hallelujah Chorus. In between, various bands and choruses performed mostly holiday numbers Monday night in the Largo High music department's Winter Concert Series.
It was a chance for Christopher Benoit, the band director, and William Renfroe, the choral director, to show off the progress of the 350 students in the program.
The department repeated the performance Tuesday night.
Laurie Reynolds of Largo came to Monday's show to watch her neighbor perform in the Blue Band.
"The energy coming from those two directors is contagious, and I just know they have influenced many,'' said Reynolds, 38. "In a lot of ways, I felt like I was watching adult performers, not kids."
In addition to the Madrigal Singers, the Band of Gold and the Concert Choir, the following student groups performed for about 300 parents, friends and family: the Blue Band, the Jazz Combo, Off-Beat Barber Shop Quartet, a Percussion Ensemble, a Mixed Chorus, the Golden Strings and the Women's Chorus.
Benoit's students start in the Blue Band as freshmen and sophomores.
Through auditions, they may advance to perform in the Band of Gold, which is made up of 40 advanced-level students.
"I think I have the best job in the world,'' said Benoit, who has played the French horn since sixth grade. "Where else do you get to go to work, play music and show kids how to do something you love?''