PRISM brings ‘non-stop musical kaleidoscope’ to CCHS 

By Felicity Zhang  Correspondent
December 15, 2023

Violins, trombones, flutes, voices, and … bubbles?  

This year’s PRISM concert by Concord-Carlisle High School’s Performing Arts Department, coming up December 15 and 16 might excite some with the return of last year’s bubble machine, but there’s something even more noteworthy: it marks the first time PRISM will include student-led ensembles not only from the bands and orchestras, but also from the choirs. 

Christopher Noce, CCHS director of bands and orchestras, says that incorporating chorus students into PRISM has always been a goal because “it fits in with our philosophy as a department” and “creates a lot of unique opportunities for students.”  

New Choral Director Sarah Grina adds that this year’s PRISM will feature performers from across the entire department beyond the instrumental program, including chorus and theater and even some faculty and staff.  

From her perspective as a new CCHS instructor, Grina is already “impressed by the scope of this concert” and “curious” to experience it for the first time. But as excited as Grina says she is for this new project, it has been challenging figuring out “how to fit it all together and how to best use this collaboration.”  

The milestone comes amid the busy season of numerous performing arts opportunities that also require careful preparation of additional repertoire, including the recent successes of Massachusetts Music Educators Association Senior Districts festival auditions, fall choral and instrumental concerts, holiday in-school pop-up performances and the choral collage concert with the middle schools in January.  

Despite these challenges, Noce says “one of the hallmarks of the performing arts department is our flexibility” given the inevitable scheduling complications of the season. As Grina says, “It’s an experimental year … Our priority is getting as many students as we can involved.” 

PRISM has long been an annual highlight of CC Performing Arts — in Noce’s words, “a one-of-a-kind concert” that’s “almost entirely student-run.”  

“Students are always at the center of what we do, but PRISM is unique,” he says. “Students really do guide that night… Someone coming to this performance will absolutely walk away in awe of [their] hard work and vision.”  

According to Grina, PRISM showcases the inspiring “professionalism, leadership and organization” of the students, and “the wide range of talents and interests both onstage and backstage.” 

PRISM uses “every possible space in the auditorium, especially the non-traditional spaces,” which Noce says “creates lots of unique opportunities for our technical theater folks to come up with solutions to problems. Tech students dedicate themselves to lighting effects and run crew, executing “complicated transitions on stage … with silence and speedy precision,” he says.  

PRISM’s most well-known tagline, “a non-stop musical kaleidoscope,” captures the essence of the groups and their music quite literally enveloping the entire auditorium, with students performing everywhere from on the stage to the alcoves to the catwalks.  

“The audience might even be surprised to find there’s a group sitting next to them,” Noce says. 

This year’s audiences can anticipate 30 to 40 small, student-directed, “exciting and unique performances” encompassing a “wild” variety of music — across and beyond jazz, klezmer, “90’s saxophone-centered grunge,” movie soundtracks, classical repertoire and boy band music.  

“Everyone will hear something they like and something they know and … something they [don’t know],” says Noce. There will even be a raffle at the door for the opportunity to conduct one of PRISM’s most iconic group numbers, “Sleigh Ride.” 

Ultimately, Noce says, PRISM is an event with “a lot of fun and silliness” that “gives us a chance to show [the audience] that although we take what we do seriously, we don’t take ourselves too seriously.”  

PRISM is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, December 15 and Saturday, December 16. Purchase tickets by visiting or by scanning the QR codes displayed around town. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students and seniors. They’ll also be sold at the door … while they last.