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Orchestra prepares challenging repertoire

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Flint Hill's orchestra performs at the 2016 Arts Jam.

Flint Hill's orchestra performs at the 2016 Arts Jam.

Photo Credit: Victor O'Neil Studios

Photo Credit: Victor O'Neil Studios

Flint Hill's orchestra performs at the 2016 Arts Jam.

By Sara Khan, Web/layout Editor

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This year, the many passionate members of Flint Hill Orchestra are gearing up for a year of new music and thrilling performances. The Orchestra, though underrated in years past, consistently excels and delivers moving performances year after year, and this year holds even greater promise

Middle and Upper School Orchestra Teacher Ken Whitley has ambitious plans for the upcoming school year.

“[Ensemble musicians] should build off of experiences from last year…and this year, the ensemble will be playing a prelude and fugue set by Handel from an early Mozart string quartet…later in the year, the ensemble will venture into contemporary classical music,” he said. “Although contemporary music can be difficult to see and hear beyond the [1720-1900] period of music that is more commonly associated and thought of as classical music, the group will embrace [these] new contemporary styles within the latter part of the year.”

Last year, the group performed an exciting array of Michael Jackson songs for Arts Jam, moving away from the usual classical repertoire and composers such as Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, and Mozart. Parents and students raved about all of the Fine Arts performances, especially the Orchestra’s captivating set.

“[I] liked the performance because all of the groups performing together were a unique experience that parents of musical students don’t usually hear,” said sophomore parent Mahnaz Parveen. “The Orchestra ensemble did not get hidden under all of the noise, and the strings added a softness to the overall sound of the groups.”

This year, the ensemble is looking forward to performing at a higher level with more challenging pieces than ever before. Although the task may seem daunting, several players say that the difficulty makes them stronger musicians and better ensemble members.

“The music from Handel that we are currently playing was challenging to sight-read at first,” said sophomore violist Nixon Kramer, “but the entire viola section has a strong set of players with [sophomore] Zain Zahir, [sophomore] Anton Tyapkin, myself, and [sophomore] Caroline Erickson; so, we can overcome any obstacle thrown at us.”

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Orchestra prepares challenging repertoire