First Orchestra Concert Brings Good Omens


Owen Sorenson

Mrs. Stucky conducts the Symphony Orchestra

Owen Sorenson, Reporter

Finishing the trimester with a grandiose display of music, the Concert and Symphony Orchestras along with the seventh and eighth grade South East Orchestras performed in Opstad Auditorium last Thursday.

“If Symphony keeps pulling off what we just did, be prepared to hear something that’ll blow the Wind Ensemble out of the park by May,” Concert and Symphony Bassist, John Bounds ‘20 said. “We have a promising group this year.”

With many of the performers feeling as though the concert was a success, they had also been  very pleased with the wide selection of music that they were able to play and listen to. Some of the performers also felt a deeper connection with the orchestras than they had had a year prior.

“I think the concert went very well overall. Many times the songs can be lackluster, but there was a large array of songs that we got to listen to,” Bounds said. “Maybe it’s because I was in both Concert and Symphony Orchestra this past trimester, but I felt much more connected to the orchestras this concert, more than any other [year] really.”

Many of the performers were proud of how well the Concert Orchestra played during the performance as they had surpassed the set expectations. They first performed “Overture from Barber of Seville” by Gioachino Rossini and arranged by Harry Afshin, followed by “Legend of Sleepy Hollow” by Richard Meyer.

“I think that they did well,” Symphony Bassist Oliver Myers ‘20 said. “I liked their song selection and it was cool that it was the second year that the Concert Orchestra and the eighth-grade orchestra did something into one piece and I think that it really introduces them into the high school level.”

The Symphony Orchestra had done something that was rarely done before, they completed a full arrangement. They performed all three movements, “Allegro Maestoso,” “Andante Teneremente,” and “Allegro Giocoso,” of “Sinfonia for Strings” composed by Eric Ewazen.

“Symphony Orchestra has done something incredible over the last trimester. Last year, we bassists had trouble playing Tchaikovsky’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’. For this concert, we were playing in positions that some of the bassists didn’t even know how to play in until now. I’d say that came from the ‘tough love’ that both Stucky and I gave to the bass section,” Bounds said. “Hard work pays off, and I think that was shown last week when we played three movements, two more than intended, of an incredibly difficult piece.”

Last year marked the beginning of the gap between students that had been playing since their fourth-grade year and the students that had started playing during their fifth-grade year. To some, there was an unfortunate yet evident ability gap. However, there is still hope as many of the eighth graders continue to dedicate themselves to their music, showing their skill through determination.

“The South East Orchestras have students who never played in fourth grade. Sadly, this does reflect in their performance. It’s easy to tell there’s a huge gap between the eighth-grade Symphony Orchestra and the City High Concert Orchestra,” Bounds said. “However I know many of the people in the South East Orchestras personally and can say that there are definitely some emerging prodigies coming to City High in these next two years.”

With a grand start to the year, it is seen as a good omen for how the rest of the year will unfold for the Orchestras.

“I would say that [how this concert went] is a good sign. It was definitely a difficult, probably the most difficult piece I have ever had in Symphony Orchestra, and I just think that it was interesting,” Myers said. “It was cool for the bass section to get the melody. It was also interesting because it was the first time that we played a full arrangement, it wasn’t just specific passages from a full arrangement.”