Stringing it together

Students+prepare+to+begin+practice+on+a+new+music+piece.+Mrs.E+went+around+doing+temperature+check+on+students.

Strike a chord. Students prepare to begin practice on a new music piece. Mrs.E went around doing temperature checks on students. “Any precaution that we take  for public safety right now is useful.” she stated.

Katie Jones, Staff Reporter

For new and returning students, orchestra is holding afterschool meetings to practice for MPA (Musical Performance Assessment), will occur in the early spring of 2021. Shoulder instruments (violin and viola) will meet biweekly on Tuesday, while next Tuesday, cellos and bases will play. Every Thursday, all members meet to rehearse. Right now, the group is preparing Mozart’s “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik”, one of the most recognizable pieces of classical music.

This club originated after orchestra’s veterans were placed in different classes full of freshmen and beginners, now learning about the basics of music theory and playing music levels they were practicing prior years. As a result of scheduling, there is no longer a Sinfonia (the top orchestra class) attends MPA.

Hailie Rodriguez (12) has played the cello since middle school and was not excited to be placed in a freshmen class. “Another difficult part is the music; not everyone is on the same level… we don’t play any challenging music because of the beginners, which can also make the class boring.”

Face the music-  In rehearsal, the orchestra received “Themes From The Moldau” as a piece to take to MPA. The group spent the entire meeting going over it. “We are preparing for the MPA by creating are our own orchestra club after school; because of this we can practice harder music with people who are at the same level.” Stated cello player Hailie Rodriguez.

since her first year here, Mrs. Eskildsen has been the orchestra teacher for the past four years and has led students to MPA. So when her classes of MPA students were separated and others took eLearners, she put together an afterschool program.

“We didn’t have a single class that had all of the musical parts, kind of like a football team that’s missing all their quarterbacks. And that’s not musically satisfying for the students, so out of necessity we created this after school program,” said Eskildsen,”We would like to go to states this year.”

Last year, Sinfonia got all superiors and qualified to attend State MPA for the first time in years, but the event was canalled due to the pandemic. No one knows if MPA will be held virtually, in person or cancelled again, but this year will be a challenge for the orchestra group because they only meet once a week together to work on pieces.

After going to MPA last year and getting all superiors, Rodriguez attends every after-school meeting and makes the time to practice at home.

“The club is useful to us because we are able to learn what we can’t during class,” said Rodriguez.

For those who wonder how a group of different level musicians can meet only once a week for an hour to prepare for MPA, Mrs. Eskildsen says, “For the most part, everyone that’s present is very respectful of the verifying levels right now, and appreciative of each other’s love of music.”