District all-strings concert encourages collaboration


Adaline Lander, Staff Writer

Orchestra classes from every school in the district gathered to perform Wednesday, April 19 in a collaborative show in the U. City gymnasium showcasing students in grades 4-12. Grace Fitter, orchestra teacher, worked hard in combination with teachers across the district to put the whole show together. 

“Collaborating with the middle school and the elementary schools is special and important,” Fitter said. “It allows all students to see the big picture of their orchestra journeys and reminds students that the whole team of string students extends beyond their class period and even their school.”

This performance doesn’t happen overnight; students spend the whole year building on their skills. This year added participation from the JROTC.

“The high school JROTC cadets joined the high school orchestra for a collaborative opening number, which was a new initiative,” Fitter said. “It was both powerful and exciting.”

The orchestra is regarded as a great class experience by all who take it. Elena Kellog, senior and violinist, rejoined this year and did not regret it.

“I joined orchestra my freshman year, but due to covid I dropped it until now, so this is my second year being in the orchestra program,” Kellog said. “I’m really glad I decided to rejoin because it’s a really fun experience.”

There are many aspects of this concert tradition to love, but MaKayla Stewart, junior and violinist, specifically loved seeing the middle school and elementary school orchestras play.

“It’s always really cool to watch and listen to how much the younger kids have learned,” Stewart said. “I also enjoy watching the eighth graders play, because it’s like a graduation for them.”

Despite minor issues from the sound in the gym, the concert went on without a hitch.

“The concert went very well,” Clementine Huck, freshman and upright bass player, said. “I believe that my peers and I stayed together throughout the duration of each song and sounded very fluent together. It was difficult to perform in the gym because of the echo it creates, but that was the only downside of our performance.”

Nevertheless, there will always be the factor of nerves when performing. Edgar Zamacona, sophomore and bassist, experienced this feeling.

“I had many thoughts during the concert,” Zamacona said. “I was nervous, but as it kept going I felt more confident and less scared of messing up. I struggle a lot trying to keep my focus on not messing up.”

It can be unanimously agreed that the orchestra excelled this year, but none of that could be possible without the hard work of our teachers.

“Ms. Fitter has done a great job of making sure each individual is comfortable with each piece we play, which makes our performance better both individually and as a whole,” Kellogg said.