Orchestra pushes through challenges, inspires students

Program puts on district-wide concert


Ruthie Posada

Freshmen Mathea Bruns and Thomas Hanson play the bass at the orchestra concert April 18. The next orchestra concert will be the spring concert held May 30.

As junior violinist Yoni Potter looks back on his third District Festival, he said despite some difficulties, the experience was just as fun as previous years.

“One of our soloists couldn’t make it so somebody had to substitute for her,” Potter said. “It was also kind of stressful because we didn’t have time to prepare one of the songs we had to perform, but we overcame the challenges, and it was fun.”

According to orchestra conductor Kou Lee, the schedule leading up to the concert was an added obstacle.

“One of the biggest challenges was that the orchestra festival was three and a half weeks or so after the rock concert, and in between that we had a week of spring break,” Lee said. “At the same time we are also getting ready for Tour of Schools, which is next Friday. We just didn’t have time to rehearse the one new piece that we rehearsed.”

Lee said this time crunch before the District Festival is something he is hoping to remedy for next year’s performance.

“One of my goals is that maybe next year we can plan it later in the school year when there are less events,” Lee said. “We don’t want (our students) to be in music and then not be able to be in their other stuff.”

According to Potter, the concert was a good opportunity for the older students to show off the improvement from middle school orchestra to high school orchestra.

“I think it was really nice for the high school orchestra to play with all the other district orchestras,” Potter said. “I think it was really inspirational for the younger musicians.”

Lee said the chamber orchestra was a highlight of the night.

“(Chamber) being able to (play) on their own, without me, I thought that was a highlight,” Lee said. “The first piece that they played — which was ‘Bashana Haba’ah’ — that was the best sound I’ve heard them play together.”

According to the St. Louis Park High School website, the orchestra’s next performance will be 7 p.m. May 30 in the Auditorium.