All-Orchestras Concert tap and tango through symphonies


All together!

Hannah Becker, Staff Writer

Over 100 students from the Middle Division (MD) Chamber Orchestra, HM Strings, String Sinfonietta, and HM Orchestra wowed the audience with skillful songs at the All-Orchestras Concert last Friday. Each ensemble played two or three individual pieces, and the concert ended with everyone playing “March and Reprise from Concerto Grosso” by Ralph Vaughan Williams together.

For the Upper Division (UD) groups, Orchestra Director Nathan Hetherington asks for input from his students on a piece before selecting it, he said. “I try to ensure that if a student has been in the group for a few years, they’ll be exposed to a variety of musical styles.” He also aims to create a balance by selecting some pieces that are challenging and others that are fun to play.

During the two months leading up to the concert, MD students rehearsed together every other day during school hours and practiced at home, HM Strings member Tessa Siegel (8) said. “It was challenging since we had three pieces to practice, but knowing that the high schoolers would be there listening to us pushed me to practice a lot.”

While HM Orchestra violinist Miller Harris (12) felt the beginning of his performance went smoothly, the show was interrupted with a technical error after the second movement of Orchestra’s first piece. Harris was putting a mute on the bridge of his violin when the bridge popped off. “It was embarrassing, but I thought of it as being more funny because it is a common issue with violins that is expected to happen on the day of a performance,” he said.

Luckily, many musicians were available to help fix Harris’ violin, including a parent in the audience who is a violinist and music teacher, Hetherington said. While waiting for the violin bridge to be fixed, Hetherington stalled the audience by telling jokes and stories of previous concerts.

HM Orchestra member Joe Brener (10) found that the performance tested his adaptability as a musician because the environment is different from rehearsals, he said. “The orchestra setting is enjoyable because you are playing with different groups which you don’t normally practice with, and since there are more people, it is more social.”

Ensemble members’ quick takes:

“I really enjoyed all the support from the audience during our whole concert, even when a member of the Orchestra broke the bridge of their violin. They continued to cheer us on after each movement during the last piece and were patient through the technical issues.”

  • Christian Conner (10), HM Orchestra

“My favorite part was being able to share my talent with my Grandma, who came. It was really cool for her to hear me play because this was the first concert she’s been to. I was really happy to have her there, and the way she talked to me after made me proud.”

  • Tessa Siegel (8), HM Strings

“I thought it was quite funny when we all cheered when Miller returned after his violin bridge was repaired. I also really liked performing with the middle schoolers; it was an interesting experience and not what I expected. It was difficult, but made the performance sound great as there were so many people.”

  • Nathan Roberston (10), HM Orchestra

I really enjoy all the bonding that happens before the concert in preparation because we usually split up into upperclassmen and underclassmen since the Orchestra is so big. Although we only got to practice once with the middle schoolers and underclassmen, we connected over the pieces we played together.”

  • Miller Harris (12), HM Orchestra
MD Chamber Orchestra
HM Strings
String Sinfonietta
HM Orchestra
HM Orchestra