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New class orchestrates advanced strings

Junior Wilson Hsu plays violin at a recent concert. According to Hsu, he is excited to experience the Advanced Orchestra next year. Provided by Alexis Raitt

Junior Wilson Hsu plays violin at a recent concert. According to Hsu, he is excited to experience the Advanced Orchestra next year. Provided by Alexis Raitt

Maisie Kramer, Staff Writer

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Imagine that you are a student at the high school with dreams of playing in a professional orchestra someday. You enjoy the regular music class that you are taking right now, but you want to play music that will prepare you to study music in a more advanced group. Next year, there will be a class for you.

Next fall, the high school will offer a new course called Advanced Orchestra, which will give serious musicians from band and orchestra a place to play new music and develop their talent at a higher level.

Current Orchestra Director Jorge Soto saw the need for a smaller group that would concentrate on the most advanced students, so he and Performing Arts Curriculum Coordinator Kenny Kozol came up with the idea for Advanced Orchestra.

“There are 86 players in the string orchestra alone—the wind and brass ensemble also has 70 students,” Soto said. “We have more than enough students to make a good, smaller, higher-level group, to serve more people.”

According to Soto, who will be teaching Advanced Orchestra, the high school has never had an ensemble combining string, wind and brass players.

“As of now, we have a string-only group and a wind and brass group,” Soto said. “But now, this class will combine the best players into one group.”

Therefore, the class provides a new opportunity for horn players who want to play orchestral music.

According to junior and trumpet player Nathan McGuire, he auditioned for the orchestra because he wanted to play traditional classical music.

“We do some classical stuff, but we also do a lot of more modern-type stuff. I like that kind of music, but I just want to play in an orchestra, so that’s why I did this group,” McGuire said.

According to junior and violinist Wilson Hsu, Advanced Orchestra will be a great new opportunity to play with advanced musicians.

“With a more advanced group, you can move faster through the repertoire and get through more difficult pieces instead of just basic pieces and get to new repertoire,” Hsu said.

Furthermore, according to Soto, Advanced Orchestra will be an opportunity for those who may want study music in college and pursue it as a profession.

“I do try to prepare the group I have already to that level, but having this smaller, but more advanced, group, the preparation will be more intense,” Soto said. “I want to train this group as much as I can like a conservatory, college or university orchestra.”

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New class orchestrates advanced strings