Eleven qualify for county’s top orchestra

West Shore will be sending 11 high school students to the All-County Orchestra which will be performing  Jan. 28 at the King Center in Melbourne. The students will be playing alongside the best orchestra musicians in the county on a variety of classical pieces including “Polovtsian Dances No. 17”, “Komm Süßer Tod” and  “Finlandia.”

“I have been in All-County since seventh grade,” junior Yoosang Park said, “I’ve always enjoyed the experience. It’s a lot of preparation and commitment, but at the same time its a great opportunity to develop [my] musicianship.”

Park said getting into the county’s best orchestra takes year-round practice.

“I usually practice around three hours a day during summer and then go down to about two and a half hours per week once school starts,” Park said. “During Winter Break … I start practicing around three hours a day again.”

Park is involved in multiple extracurricular activities. As well as playing in All-County Orchestra, she participates in All-State Orchestra.

“Often, I end up putting much more time into All-State and not so much into All-County,” she said.

However, Park said she tries to take advantage of vacations, so when she gets bogged down by homework during school, she has already accomplished most of her practicing.

Unlike the school’s orchestras, All-County Orchestra is a full orchestra. This means that in addition to stringed instruments, there are brass, woodwinds and percussion.

“I personally love listening to the wind instruments because they can add a special touch to the music that a violin can’t,” Park said.

Junior Zachary Zaroogian, who also made it in for a fifth consecutive year, said he also enjoys the full orchestra.

“It contributes to a fuller sound and adds to the texture of the pieces played,” he said.

Zaroogian said he looks forward to meeting other musicians from across the county.

“It’s nice seeing all my peers from across the county and [being able to] make music with them,” he said. “[It] makes the winter very busy to say the least. I’m gone half of January between orchestra and other competitions.”

However, Zaroogian said it was still worth it.

The other students who made the high school orchestra are Alice Chan, McKenzie Curtis, Andrew Leonard, James Leonard, Janet Lu, Ben Pinfield, Coral Kehm, Marissa Scalise and Hannah Langenbach.

By Clark Evans