Orchestra memorizes Christmas rock


Jenna Bao

Orchestra stops rehearsal throughout the bell for sectionals. Each section leaves the rehearsal to go into the music office and work on the finale piece with Mr. David Swift. They do this so it is less intimidating when individuals test one on one. The testing itself does not disrupt rehearsal, since students just get up and leave the room when it is their turn.

Jenna Bao, Associate Editor

When a high school orchestra winter concert comes to mind, the image is usually of playing various classic symphonic pieces with a few variations on “Jingle Bells.” That image, however, usually does not include hundreds of students, electronic instruments, and rock and roll.

Every year at the Junior High, all grades of orchestra in the district come together for the finale of the winter concert, from fifth graders playing the same note over and over again on the stage to high school students playing in the aisles of the auditorium and SEE1, SHS’s electronic orchestra, rocking out on a platform.

Since there are so many students playing together, not everyone can fit on the stage. Since the fifth graders are performing for the very first time, they get the music stands and stage, and the rest of the players must memorize their parts.

On Nov. 16, students began testing by playing the piece from memorization one-on-one with Mr. David Swift. The whole process starts earlier this year due to the early exams. The testing will go on for at least a week.

Sophomore Myron Williams said, “I am worried about the test just because I haven’t started memorizing the piece yet. To be honest, I don’t even really like the piece we’re playing this year.”

SEE1 violinist sophomore Sophia Ramos said,”I’m not really concerned about the test, but I definitely think that memorizing a piece makes a difference when you play it.”

The finale is traditionally either rock pieces or rock n’ roll arrangements of classic Christmas tunes, which have in recent years included “Live or Let Die” and “Faith Noel.”

This year’s piece is a combined arrangement of “March of the King” and “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.”

Williams said, “I don’t know why we need to memorize the whole thing. The beginning part is so repetitive anyway.”

The winter concert will be on Dec. 3 at 7:00 at the Junior High. The high school orchestra’s program will also include “That’s Entertainment” and “Pi Tunes.”