Melodic orchestra evokes emotion

“With all the events we participate in you find friends in the unlikeliest of places. Without orchestra I wouldn’t have met the friends I have today,” Lisa Tarantola, senior

Bradley Byler

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Walking by the PAC, passersby hear the soothing and comforting sounds produced by over 40 orchestra members working together in harmony. While every instrument has their role within the ensemble, each individual takes pride in their own small part.

Orchestra isn’t only about hard work, it’s also about forming meaningful bonds through music. An ensemble doesn’t just need skilled musicians, it needs friends who have constructed a deeper understanding of their coworkers as well. Orchestra invites people of all niches, creating a unique environment.

“With all the events we participate in you find friends in the unlikeliest of places, without orchestra I wouldn’t have met the friends I have today,” Lisa Tarantola, a senior cellist, said.

The dedication to the art does not end upon leaving the building; musicians often seek outside tutoring in addition to in-school content. The joy received from being a part of something larger than oneself offsets the difficulty in becoming the best they can be. However, that doesn’t mean the musicians coast through their program.

“While there isn’t any homework, you have to be dedicated to the program if you want to succeed,” Emmanuel Aguilera, a senior violinist and violist, said.

The music created by the orchestra conveys more than just pretty sounds; it’s an envoy of emotion and feeling. Like a story book, a musical arrangement is created with a specific mood and feeling in mind. The performers hope to create images of great triumphs and terrible loss, to create senses of joy and loss.

“It’s like reading, understanding what the author was going through in their life, what was happening in that time period. When you understand [the context] that enhances the way you play,” Aguilera said.

In addition to playing at the PAC, the orchestra frequently takes trips off campus to various locations both inside and outside of Missouri. This year the orchestra will be taking a trip to Disney World to both perform and enjoy some time in the sun. In addition to planned trips the orchestra is also nominated for some state level competitive tournaments. Last year, our orchestra was selected to perform in MMEA (Missouri Music Educators Association), a competition of only five orchestras selected from across the state.

“We were all caught by surprise, it was a huge feeling of accomplishment to be chosen out of so many schools in Missouri,” Tarantola said.

The orchestra will be performing their winter concert in the PAC on Thursday December 12.