Intermediate and Advanced Orchestras Impress Judges

Wearing all black, intermediate and advanced orchestra walked towards Greenwood’s doors in April as if they were spies on a mission with their instrumental briefcases. In this case the mission was contest. Students first warmed up and then headed to the stage where they would perform for the judges. They took their seats and waited for their conductor to give them the signal. Then Mr. Hansen waved his conductor stick as if it was a wand getting ready to release magic.

For some students, contest was magical, for the setting was perfect.

“I loved the way the stage was set up,” Amber Keomany, 8th, said. “The wooden shells reflected our sound well and the lightning was pretty cool too.”

Others felt the jitters inside.

“The biggest challenge was trying not to be nervous because I could hear the judges’ whispers from where I was,” Ashley said.

Nervous or not, the students reveled in the moment.

“I enjoyed playing on stage with my class because we had practiced for weeks and finally had our big moment,” Sydney Du said.

Mr. Hansen, sponsor, thought that “Intensity” was the Intermediate Orchestra’s best piece.

“The students played with such enthusiasm and energy that it really brought the piece to life,” Mr. Hansen said. “They set the bar for the rest of the contest with this work because it was the first piece heard by the judges.”

Not only did Intermediate Orchestra enjoy their big moment, so did the Advanced group.

“I enjoyed having fun with my friends, playing together as a whole orchestra, and getting an awesome result from the judges,” Bao Ha, 9th, said.

The students ended their performance with sight reading and headed to their yellow limousines. The tension and excitement showed even in Mr. Morris for he kept leading the students into the wrong bus. When the orchestras arrived at school, they received the news that they had earned all ones — the highest ranking.

“I felt grateful that the judges gave us an outstanding and superior rating for our hard work,” Johnny Chiamsachang, 8th, said.

Later in April, these student musicians competed at the Solo and Ensemble contest where 87% of them received received superior rankings and eight scored excellent.

“The judges listened closely and our flaws showed, but our strengths outweighed our weaknesses,” Amber said. “I was expecting a one. We worked so hard on our songs, and I think we lived up to the expectation.”

As the school year draws to a close, Mr. Hansen sets his sights on next school year.

“While I’m very sad to see my Advanced Orchestra graduate to Northside, I am extremely excited about 2015-’16,” Mr. Hansen said. “I have lined up a few very cool pieces that require high energy and even more focus than anything we performed this year. As for next year’s Intermediate Orchestra, the year’s group leaves some very big shoes to fill, but I’m sure the students will rise up to the challenge much like this year’s Orchestra did!”