A Retrospective on December’s Orchestra Concert

Determination: just one of the many words that can be used to describe the high school orchestra’s effort. With a winter concert Dec.  13, these musicians worked diligently to perform successfully at this event.

Students and teachers alike prepared and rehearsed classic holiday songs along with selected others. Each class played their own unique songs. In particular, the Symphonia performed Brazilian Sleigh Bells and Concert Orchestra performed Beethoven’s Symphony No.5.

To reach the point at which they are comfortable performing, students must take steps to prepare themselves. They listen to their performance music on YouTube or on their iPods. In addition, they have in-class rehearsals and individual preparation, which, for some, could mean rehearsing during RAISE.

“That’s the neat thing about being in a music class: you work individually and then it all comes together,” orchestra teacher Anne Rupert said. “I keep setting the bar higher and they keep meeting it.”

Sophomore Rookey Tesfaye said practicing music is often meticulous, but it frequently brings orchestra students to a peace of mind.

“I feel like I’m in a different world when I play music; I know that sounds cheesy, but it’s true,” Tesfaye said.

Orchestra students give some of their performance’s credit to Rupert’s supportive disposition.

“[The teacher] is very helpful; if you have any questions, she is willing to stop the class,” junior Karlee Barber said.

Getting help from the teacher and preparing individually is often a helpful way for students to develop their skills. Because of this, for most orchestra students, practicing is not a chore.

“I enjoy practicing because my friends are here too and I can improve,” sophomore Grace Kim said.

Rupert said the school orchestra is like one big family.

“There is a lot of helping each other; there is a lot of positiveness,” Rupert said.

Along with their passion for music, many students felt orchestra was a refreshing escape from everything.

“In all the business of IB, an instrument is therapeutic; it stimulates the mind,” junior James Lynch said. “You don’t have to go into robot mode like the other IB classes.”

Throughout the school year, the orchestra department put a lot of effort into their work, whether it was listening to their songs or rehearsing them. To perform to the best of their abilities, they not only worked thoroughly, they supported one another. Some even stayed after school for evening rehearsals.

“It really was worth it because I felt as I kept practicing, I was learning more new techniques and skills and it really advanced my playing,” Kim said.

Orchestra class often lifts people’s spirits. “I love music,” Tesfaye said. “I tried other courses, but each one dragged me down.”