West Shore students shine at All-State Orchestra

After many hours of practice, patience and persistence, 11 West Shore students qualified for the annual All-State Orchestra, which held its performance Jan. 14 in Tampa.

Junior Andrew Leonard was accepted to the orchestra, marking his third time participating in the states highest high school orchestra.

“Compared to previous All-State ensembles, this one was by far the best I played in,” Leonard said. “Everyone prepared [for] the challenging music well in advance, and we had a great concert.” In addition, Leonard felt that his own performance was better than in previous years.

Junior Yoosang Park also made the orchestra, and she concurred with Leonard’s assessment.

“This year’s All-State was one of the best All-State Orchestras, if not the best, that I have played in,” she said. “Like every year, each musician was very well prepared with his or her part, especially the strings, and very focused throughout the long rehearsals. Particularly this year, every section in the orchestra felt very strong, and the chemistry between the conductor and the orchestra and between the sections [of the orchestra] was wonderful.”

Despite their increased confidence in their playing, both Park and Leonard we’re seated lower in the orchestra then they had been in previous years.

“[This year] I was 11th chair out of 16second violins,” Park said. “Last year, I was associate concertmaster.”

Leonard also was seated lower than usual.

“The competition gets tougher as the orchestras get more advanced,” he said.

Overall, both students said they enjoyed the concert.

“All-State is always a true privilege and a great learning opportunity,” Park said.

By Clark Evans