Orchestra looking towards the future

Jada Jointer

The doors open to Civic Hall with people scattering in, mumbles cores the aisles, and people greet others before sitting down in their chairs. The lights fade, and the audience is silenced by the sound of an open A string. The show is about to begin.

“The orchestra, I think, is the most versatile group of musicians, because we have violins, cellos, violas, and basses, that can create a different sound then the marching band sound or the symphonic wing sound,” Orchestra Director Lauren Gruber said.

The RHS Orchestra has an upcoming show on October 3, but some feel that the word ‘orchestra’ can be misinterpreted.

“When people think of the orchestra they think of the symphony and really old dead white guy music that no one listens to, but we don’t necessarily always do that,” Gruber said. “An example would be the ‘Moonlight Odyssey’ by Matt Turner that was written this year.”

Moonlight Odyssey is a piece that the orchestra is going to be playing in their concert, prior to concerts the orchestra practices everyday, until the date.

“I had a solo in the song ‘Spring Breezes’ and I had to practice so much, because it was a lot different then what I’ve played before and it was a lot more difficult,” junior Annetta Itnyre said.

Challenges for orchestra students may not always be physical, but more mental.

“As a section leader, I have to work a lot on my leadership and make sure that my section is playing together,” senior Noah Burch said. “And that is a big role of any section leader, making sure that we’re all playing the same fingerings and same bowings while sounding good together, not only as a section, but the orchestra as a whole.”

Even with obstacles, students receive support within Gruber’s teaching style.

“I have high expectations for every kid and I try to be nice and get to know them as people and not just as students,” Gruber said. “I love them and I really want them all to succeed not only in orchestra, but in life.”

With determination and encouragement, the orchestra has gained a tremendous amount of students.

“There were a bunch of other teachers before me, so the high school orchestra only had 14 kids in it, maybe 12 by the end of the year, and now we have almost 50 and it’s so cool,” Gruber said.

Other students have the same enthusiasm as Gruber.

“I’m excited about the direction, in which the orchestra is going, we have more freshmen now then we have ever had, and I think we are going to continue to get even more and more students, which is only a good thing,” Burch said.

The orchestra hopes to gain more students within the classroom and within the audience.

“I think we’re not as visible in the community, because we don’t do stuff like parades and football games,” Gruber said.

In order to achieve a bigger audience and not limit the orchestra, Gruber tries to diversify their repertoire.

“We can do pop, we can do rock, we don’t always do classical,” Gruber said.

The variety may bring in others, but it’s something you’ll have to see for yourself

“If you’ve never been to a concert before you might be surprised that it’s not as boring as you think the word ‘orchestra’ is,” Gruber said.