Head of Orchestra and Choir Maria Hoyos directs the combined high school and middle school orchestra in a performance on Nov. 3. (Photo by Arijit Trivedi)

Orchestra and choir perform together for the first time in two years

At 3:45 p.m. on Nov. 3, the Country Day plaza near the lower school began to flood with parents, students, teachers and families. In about 10 minutes, all 150 seats were occupied and some people were standing on the sidelines. 

From the music room, the student musicians in black and white collared shirts and dresses came out with their instruments and sheet music in hand. They settled down in their seats and so did the audience. Bows up, feet flat on the floor and eyes on the conductor, the orchestra and the choir anticipated the swing of the baton and the signal to start the performance.

The middle and high school orchestra played first with the songs “Amadeus”, “Brandenburg,” “Concerto No.5,” “Waltz,” “Conquistador” and “Spring.” 

Then, it was followed by the high school choir singing “We Can Dream,” “City of Stars” and “Firefly.” To conclude the performance, the orchestra and the choir performed the American classic “Simple Gifts” together.

“I am very pleased with their performance especially because this is the first time they performed together in such a long time,” said the Head of the orchestra and choir, Maria Hoyos. 

Because of COVID-19 restrictions, all choir concerts and most orchestra concerts were held virtually for the past two years. 

Maria Hoyos said the orchestra performed earlier this year, but on a much smaller stage with fewer people compared to the performance on Nov. 3. It was the first time they had performed in front of a large audience and the first time the choir has performed in person and with the orchestra since then.

“It was really good, and they played their pieces with a lot of passion,” Sophomore Harper Livesey said. Livesey said she would definitely watch again if there is another opportunity in the future. 

The orchestra and choir will perform again for the Winter Concert in December and the Spring Concert in May. 

Before then, Freshman Concert Master and first chair violinist Ryan Xu said there is still room for improvement in the future. 

“We can work on intonation, tone quality and overall sound quality,” Xu said. “It kinda all comes with practice.” 

“There are still things to work on like dynamics and articulation, but overall, I’m very impressed with their performance,” Hoyos said.

“I’m very excited to see how they will do in their later concerts,” she said.

— By Garrett Xu

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