Orchestra prepares for first concert

Players, alumni anticipate performance

According to orchestra teacher Miriam Edgar, alumni will join orchestra members in their upcoming winter concert.

“This is our first concert in this school (and it’s) the entire St. Louis Park High School orchestra and then the chamber orchestra will also perform,” Edgar said. “We also have alumni that go all the way back to 1972 to current alumni that are going to come in, perform with us, and/or observe us.”

Freshman Sam Sietsma said he is looking forward to his first high school concert.

“I am very excited just because it is a concert, but also my first one at the Senior High,” Sietsma said.

According to Sietsma, the orchestras will perform some holiday songs.

“The concert is mildly holiday themed because the school orchestra program is not playing festive music but the chamber music is playing a variety of holiday songs,” Sietsma said.

Edgar said professionals have visited to help students prepare.

“We have been working on our music since September (and) we’ve had two clinicians come in and work with us. One was Dr. (Benjamin) Klemme; he’s been a big conductor at GTCYS (Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies),” Edgar said. “We actually had another conductor come in named Mark Russelsmith and he is actually the director at the University of Minnesota.”

Edgar said she enjoys the alumni concert because it’s an exciting experience that has been happening for a long time.

“I think one of the really cool things about the alumni concert is that it’s been happening since before I was a student here and one of the positive things that is really amazing about it is that it has kept our support in the community a really big deal,” Edgar said. “I think (the alumni are) really excited to support a program that they were also part of and they want to see students have the same opportunities that they have had.”

Edgar also said she is looking forward to the alumni concert because all of the orchestra classes come together and because students enjoy it.

“I just love the alumni concert. I feel like we spend this time in preparing but then because we’re in three separate classes, when everybody is on stage together all of the strengths and weaknesses are balanced out,” Edgar said. “Having alumni come back adds strength and they are part of our orchestra family so I think that a lot of the students really look forward having (the concert).”