Orchestra travels to Hawaii

Students reflect on performances in Honolulu


Used with permission from Miriam Edgar

Samantha Klepfer

On Thurs. March 22, orchestra, along with band, got on a plane bound for Honolulu, Hawaii.

Senior bassist Joshua Somaiah said the group going to Hawaii met outside of school hours to prepare for the trip.

“Practice-wise we (had) a lot of practice in class and we (didn’t take) any days off,” Somaiah said. “We (had) two morning practices before … the trip.”

According to orchestra director Miriam Edgar, orchestra chose to switch their trip from Italy to Hawaii due to last minute cost increases.

“(Since) I had already priced out Hawaii with Mr. Schmitz … and I knew what the dates were and that there was a hotel available and that we would… get some performing opportunities, I (made) a last-minute decision to switch it,” Edgar said. “Otherwise we would have ended up with no trip because the amount of families that wouldn’t have been able to afford the cost to go would have been a major factor, and we wouldn’t have been able to play.”

Edgar said orchestra has always been good at pulling together trips at the last minute.

“My first year here there hadn’t been a trip in four years,” Edgar said. “We did all of our fundraising in eight months (and) we ended up going to New York.”

According to Somaiah, the music they learned fit the theme of Hawaii.

“I think it’s suitable for the environment we (went) to – Moana, Hawaii, kind of goes together,” Somaiah said. “We also (went) to the Pearl Harbor Memorial and (played) American Honor.”

Junior violinist Anna Kasper said the music they learned was very nationalistic.

“A lot of (the music was) patriotic music, which I think (was) a good way to honor those who have died at Pearl Harbor,” Kasper said.

Kasper said she enjoyed her experience in Hawaii immensely—she only wishes it were longer.

“I really liked the trip,” Kasper said. “I thought it was really short—it was only six days.”

According to Somaiah, the knowledge he gained on the trip was a highlight.

“It was a nice experience to be out and about in a different culture and learn new things,” Somaiah said.

Kasper said the trip helped foster camaraderie and friendship among the orchestra students.

“My favorite part (of Hawaii) was probably this one night where I went to play frisbee with a friend for half an hour,” Kasper said. “This big group of people started coming, and eventually everybody started playing frisbee until ten at night.”

According to Kasper, the experience of performing at Pearl Harbor was very moving.

“I think the performances went well,” Kasper said. “I feel really honored to (have been) able to perform at … the USS Missouri.”

Edgar said the orchestra performed at many sacred American sites where important events took place.

“I think (it) is really powerful, especially from a historical standpoint,” Edgar said. “It’s one thing to talk about it in class, and it’s another thing to actually be standing on the ship and performing music.”