After playing half of last year together, the band and orchestra will be going their separate ways.

Although the two groups will perform together at the 50th Anniversary kickoff celebration (Sept. 14), they will be separate classes after that.

The decision was made because although the string players had an enjoyable time last year, they were unable to play the more challenging pieces that they are accustomed to, orchestra teacher Felecia Keys said.

Last year, the band and orchestra focussed more on playing and meshing their sounds together, so technique took a backseat Keys said.

This year, orchestra will be emphasizing methodology and technique.

“I’m excited to whip them into shape.” said Keys. “I know my students are as well.”

“I think last year we could have done better at our final competition if we hadn’t spent so much time with the band,” violinist Madison Judd said.

Judd said that because of the split there should be fewer mistakes during competitions.

Keys was careful to underscore that although the band and orchestra would be different classes, they would still practice and perform together frequently.

“I can see us working together for so many events,” said Keys. She said that the band and orchestra would likely play together for the 50th anniversary events, as well as the winter and spring concerts

Band teacher Bob Ratcliff had no comment on the split.

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