Ninth, eighth grade orchestra performs in concert


Myah Lear

MUSIC TIME! The Altoona and Hollidaysburg orchestra students all cram on to the stage during a concert earlier this year. On Dec.8 at 3 p.m, the youth orchestra students will perfom a concert honoring Kiera Chirdon and it will be held at the Mishler theater.

Myah Lear, Reporter

On Oct. 21, the orchestra performed a concert with the Hollidaysburg Area Junior High School to practice with new people and so that the orchestra had something special to do in the fall.

This was the first concert of the year for the orchestra and showed how much they have progressed from the beginning of the year. The orchestra worked since the second day of the school year to perform for this concert.

The orchestra normally does not have fall concerts due to warm-up practicing.

“We were looking for something special to do in the fall. Fall is the school sports season, and we were looking for something to motivate string students,” orchestra Director Kelly Detwiler said.

This orchestra concert has the highest audience turnout and brings two schools together to learn.

“It’s gone very well. It’s very well attended and very strongly performed bringing everyone together,” Detwiler said.

The list of songs in the concert were Aurora Borealis, The Bird, End Pin Rag, Spartacus, Sheebeg and Sheemore and Czech folk song suite.

“The song everyone will probably like is Spartacus because it sounds very heroic and its full of energy. You can see it’s very fun to play,” eighth grade cellist Mira Sparacino said.

The orchestra practiced during sixth and eighth period preparing for the concert.

“I practice during the school day and usually on Saturdays. I practice the music, so I have a better understanding,” Sparacino said.

In the past, orchestra members expressed they were nervous before and during the concert.

“I’m kind of nervous, but in the end I know I’ll be happy with how I do in the concert,” Sparacino said.

This was one of the most informal concerts of the year. The students, instead of wearing and gown, wore jeans or leggings with their music department shirt.

“Well we do try to keep it relaxed for a couple of reasons; we don’t want it to be really stressful so that kids will talk to each other for a day,” Detwiler said.

The concert alternates between schools each year from Altoona to Hollidaysburg and back.

“It makes it easier for directors. It’s a lot of responsibility to host. It makes it easier to go back and forth every year,” Detwiler said.

In this concert, the seventh graders do not participate with the ninth and eighth graders.

“The seventh graders are not quite ready. They are not in the same skill level as the eighth and ninth graders. It would be a stressful experience for them,” Detwiler said.

The ninth and eighth grade orchestra do not go to school from 9 a.m. to the end of the day due to having to be at the Hollidaysburg junior high for the day.

“It is very hard to get everyone together after school. We just found it was better to make it a one day event,” Detwiler said.

Many students and the directors say that this show was to perform but also fun for people to watch.

“There are a lot of fun pieces to look forward to and a great show,” Sparacino said.

The orchestra students, while at Hollidaysburg, had to abide by a schedule throughout the whole day.

“We will leave the junior high at about 9:15 a.m. and we will get there at about 9:45 a.m. We will rehearse all morning. We have 12 o’clock lunch then have a guest artist play for us. She is an electric violinist named Caryn Lin. At 2 o’clock we rehearse again and break for dinner at 5 and the concert starts at six,” Detwiler said.