Life in the Apex High School Orchestra
“Together from the top,” is one of the most common phrases that the Apex Orchestra Director Mr. Miller will say. Many people around Apex know that the arts are one of the most featured departments at Apex, along chorus and theater, however not everyone knows that there is an orchestra. It is only one class, not multiple, and is only made up of about thirty-five people. The orchestra is made up of violins, violas (basically a larger violin), cellos, and stand up string basses.
With around four to five concerts during a school year, orchestra is constantly working on their music in order to make it as close to perfect as they can. Kendyle Harris, a violinist, says that there is never enough time in the class and that something can always use work. Whether it is a certain section that is unable play their part or a certain piece of music is hard on everyone, something can always be improved on. The director, Mr. Miller says that we could always use more time, but we just don’t have it.
Depending on the concert, the music can be easier or harder. For example, in violinist Destiny Hancock-Burns’s opinion, the music for the popular (POPS) concert in May is harder than all of the other concerts due to the multitude of parts. The POPS concert combines orchestra, band and chorus along with the many parts that make up each section. Everyone who attends the concerts for the different arts programs only see the end result, not what happens before in order to make everything sound as great as it can.
The class aspect of orchestra, as far as homework and tests, includes only practice sheets, playing tests, and the occasional reading of a strings related article. Practice sheets are fifteen percent of a student’s overall grade and lets Mr. Miller know how long or little a student had practiced for that week. Playing tests and written assignments, such as a summary of an article, count for twenty percent. The rest of a student’s grade comes from class participation and concert attendance.
Orchestra is always looking for more people and would love new members. See Mr. Miller in trailer four if anyone is interested.
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