Colo­nial Mid­dle School or­ches­tra sees record mem­ber­ship

The Colonial - - OPINION - Amanda Kan

Most peo­ple think of clas­si­cal mu­sic as un­ex­cit­ing and dreary. That’s why the or­ches­tra of Colo­nial Mid­dle School isn’t al­ways pop­u­lar. How­ever, each year con­sis­tently brings sur­prises WKDW EHnH­fiW WKH in­stru­men­tal pro­gram.

Dur­ing the start of school, all string mu­si­cians — sixth through eighth grade — were ea­ger to start an­other year of lessons, re­hearsals and events. How­ever, on Sept. 11, ev­ery­one was equally shocked to hear that the 2012-13 Colo­nial Mid­dle School or­ches­tra was go­ing to have more stu- dents than ever.

An im­pres­sive to­tal of 78 string play­ers, a great im­prove­ment from last year’s 60 string mu­si­cians, set the bar high. 7KH fiUVW UHKHDUVDO of the school year in­cluded the seat­ing of each mu­si­cian, col­lec­tion of new mu­sic sheets and the en­joy­ment of hear­ing notes echo around the au­di­to­rium.

Students also learned that there was an as­ton­ish­ing num­ber of vi­ola play­ers. Fif­teen vi­o­lists made XS RnH-fiIWK RI WKH RUFKHVWUD HvHn though there’s usu­ally a va­cancy of vi­ola play­ers.

There were so many mu­si­cians play­ing that Elise Dere­witz, the di­rec­tor and con­duc­tor of the or­ches­tra, stated, “I could ac­tu­ally IHHO WKH flRRU UXPEOLnJ.”

With the mas­sive amount of mu­si­cians this year, Dere­witz is cre­at­ing a sep­a­rate sixth-grade or­ches­tra and a seventh- and eighth-grade or­ches­tra. This will help all grades progress bet­ter ac­cord­ing to their lev­els of skill. While the sixth-graders stay in their com­fort zone, the sev­en­t­hand eighth-graders can take on more chal­leng­ing pieces to pre­pare them for or­ches­tra at the high school. This truly helps the more ad­vanced grades be­cause they are not stuck play­ing sim­ple songs be­low their abil­ity lev­els. Fur­ther­more, it al­lows them to continue im­prov­ing their skills.

Even though this year’s or­ches­tra will re­quire more work, Colo­nial Mid­dle School is still us­ing it to an ad­van­tage. With more string play­ers comes more sound, wKLFK wLOO fiOO XS WKH vDVW DXGL­to­rium dur­ing con­certs. A wide, large au­di­to­rium means it’s harder for sound and pitch to travel. There­fore, in pre­vi­ous con­certs, Dere­witz had to in­struct her students to play louder and fuller than usual. How­ever, with more mu­si­cians this year, au­di­ences can en­joy a bet­ter per­for­mance — even the ones sit­ting to­ward the back.

Dere­witz is also try­ing to in­clude more fa­mous clas­si­cal mu- sic for her students to play. These are usu­ally more chal­leng­ing and the au­di­ence might rec­og­nize a few clas­si­cal pieces, which will only in­crease their en­joy­ment. 6RPH VRnJV DUH “5RnGR” IURP Eine Kleine Nacht­musik by W.A. 0RzDUW DnG “:LnWHU” IURP 7KH Four Sea­sons by An­to­nio Vi­valdi. Both pieces are en­joyed and well-liked by the string play­ers of the or­ches­tra.

The or­ches­tra of Colo­nial Mid­dle School is ex­tremely proud to have more mem­bers than ever. 7KHy KDvH GHfinLWHOy SURvHn WKDW clas­si­cal mu­sic is just as im­por­tant and mov­ing as other types of mu­sic and that the or­ches­tra is con­tin­u­ing to be­come bet­ter and bet­ter.

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