Orchestra crescendos into new school year

Our orchestra prepares for fall concert, later field trip


Ashley Riedy

Chamber orchestra fills the room with the sound of their music as they practice for their concert on Oct. 6.

Naomi Jackson, Reporter

Orchestra is preparing for their fall concert on Thursday Oct. 6, which will be held in the back courtyard, with audience seating opening at 6 p.m. The symphonia, symphony and philharmonic orchestras will play their own pieces, with all three orchestras playing a medley together at the end. 

“We’re playing ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ as a full group,” said Orchestra Council President William Jackson. “It enables everyone to learn more during this concert. The people in the upper levels get to teach other students, and the people in the lower groups get to play with people that they have few opportunities to play with.”

Some of the other songs will have Halloween-esque themes. “Cliffs of Moher” and “Storm” will be played by the symphonia orchestra. The symphony orchestra will play “Danse Macabre,” (which roughly translates to “Dance of Death”), “Remember Me” from the movie “Coco” about the Day of the Dead, and “The Barber of Seville,” from a story involving brutal decapitation. 

In orchestra classes, students have practiced day after day, working to make music out of the songs they play. Often they go over one section of a song several times in a row, working on establishing good dynamics, rhythm, intonation and articulation. Students try to really use all of their bow, to play with a full sound.

“One of the things that Ms. Riedy has told us in the past is, ‘Make this music our own, don’t just play notes, make music,’” said Jackson. “You don’t just play in a box.”

While working hard, the orchestra maintains a friendly environment. A small section of the whiteboard is bedecked with drawings, some fairly random, yet all creative. The orchestra room is generally a place students can have fun and joke around a little.

“Over the course of the year, it becomes one big orchestra family,” Jackson said. “It’s just a community that is really fun and really amazing to be a part of.”

Later this year, the orchestra will go on a trip to Knott’s Berry Farm, a theme park in California. They will enjoy the various rides there, but will also play hard-practiced songs for “Music in the Parks.”

“It’s a great opportunity for students to play for esteemed judges who offer valuable commentary,” Ashley Riedy, orchestra director at Silverado said.

To raise money for this opportunity, bundtlets from “Nothing Bundt Cakes” are being sold every Tuesday during both lunches for $5. On Oct. 21 they will be holding a Halloween Bash to raise funds, where attendees will have the opportunity to watch “The Nightmare Before Christmas” on an inflated screen. 

The chamber orchestra will also be playing at festival this year, after receiving a one (the highest score) last year. 

The orchestra is well planned for all these events this year. A well-organized calendar on the orchestra whiteboard has all events, even upcoming playing tests for the current month and the next. A Google calendar provided to orchestra students carries this information, going throughout the entire school year.

“Trying to predict the schedule months in advance is not very reliable and stuff is going to change,” Jackson said. “But it enables us to be better organized, and it enables people to be more prepared for the upcoming events.”