Colonial Middle School orchestra sees record membership
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.