Orchestra: Their Journey to Assessment

The band and orchestra are going to attend an assessment that is coming up on March 7, 2020. Liberty is hoping the members do well, even with barely any time remaining. The members only have about two weeks to prepare, but the members are really confident that they will play well and perform their best.

“It is stressful, but it’s a good type of stress that motivates us to play better and motivates us to play our best in front of the judges in different situations,” said Ms. O’Konski. 

There are two types of groups in orchestra, those being string and chamber.

Chamber is more work and you play harder music. You also have to try out to get in chamber.

String is an orchestra group that you can sign up for if you like it or if you don’t have the time for chamber. Chamber and string usually do not play together at assessment, but oddly this year are playing together. 

“I think it’s going to be fun playing with them. Being able to play with them pushes us to work harder and play better as a group. We only practice with chamber once,” said junior Colin Cooper. 

The conductor Ms. O has been conducting Liberty for 3 years. Ms. O has done an amazing job for the past few years and has received great scores from the judges all of her years. The judges score the orchestra on numbers 1-5, with 1 being the best and 5 the worst. In all of Ms. O’s career of being a conductor at Liberty High school, she has never received a 4 or 5 for Liberty in assessment.

“Ms. O has been an amazing teacher ever since I came to Liberty and started playing. She is really kind and tells us funny stories all the time about her animals and she understands us. She is honest and will tell you what you need to work on for a certain song or section,” said junior Jazmyn Reynolds. 

The orchestra students have been working really hard this year practicing 5 days a week. They practice so students are ready for the assessment and understand what they have to do. One thing orchestra does after performing their music is sight reading. The orchestra members get seven minutes to sight read and study the unknown song that the judges have given them. After seven minutes, they perform the song and judges will then continue to evaluate and judge their performance. It shows the judges how you truly play by giving you a piece of different music that you have never done before. 

“I really don’t like sight reading because I like to get good at music so it sounds really good. Since we only get to practice about seven minutes before, we do not sound the best and play the best our orchestra can,” said Reynolds. 

Although the orchestra has to do all this hard work, a reward is given at the end. The music company gets to go on a trip to a park full of roller coasters like Hershey Park, King’s Dominion or Busch Gardens. The trip is always very fun for those involved and doesn’t cost an extreme amount.