Orchestras earn superiors

The school’s various orchestras earned high scores at the annual Music Performance Assessment at Satellite High School on March 3. Chamber Orchestra received superiors, the highest possible score, for its concert and sight-reading while Symphonic Orchestra received a superior for sight-reading and an excellent for its concert. For the concert, Chamber played “Phantom Tangos” by Brian Balmages, “Psalm and Fugue for String Orchestra” by Alan Hovhaness, and “Gavotte, Musette,” and Rigaudon by Grieg. Symphonic played “Two songs of Newfoundland” arranged by Carrie Lane Gruselle, “For the Star of County Down” arranged by Deborah Monday and “Furiant” by Elliot Del Borgo.

Junior Yoosang Park, concert master of Chamber Orchestra, said she was pleasantly surprised by her orchestras scores.

I think we did better than expected, especially in sight-reading,” Park said. “In my honest opinion, we were not very ready for our pieces [that] we played in the concert. [Also] during sight-reading, I felt like each section was off from one another by a beat or two. The judge told us this, but he was very excited about our confidence even in playing at the wrong time.”

But Park noted there are some things that the orchestra can improve upon.

“We did our best to prepare, but the things that we did, such as sectionals and group performances, weren’t as effective as [Director Maureen] Fallon had planned,” she said. “I think we should definitely continue doing sectionals, but I would actually like to see a few students direct the class on one designated day. This might help the orchestra as a whole since we are the ones playing the piece, so we could have important musical contributions. Personally, I would listen to the recordings of the pieces we are playing more and get the bowings and fingers to my section sooner.”

Fallon was also pleased with both orchestras performances.

“I thought everybody did exactly as I was hoping they would do,” Fallon said. “I was hoping that symphonic would go and be successful, and get an excellent. [They] did really well in sight reading, they accomplished what they needed to accomplish to be a stronger orchestra. [Regarding] Chamber, I figured they played well and they would probably get their superior, which they did.”

Symphonic orchestra also had to overcome a transportation issue of not being provided busses, and not being able to count MPA as a field-trip. Therefore, the students had to arrange their own rides in the middle of the school day.

“It worked out, though I have to admit I was a little nervous about everybody getting there,” Fallon said.

By Clark Evans