To conclude a hard year of work, the bands and orchestras had their last concerts and an ice cream social Tuesday, May 21. Unlike past years, the ice cream social was separated into two parts, with string orchestra, symphonic band, and freshman band playing earlier in the day and chamber orchestra and wind ensemble playing later.
A defining characteristic of this concert is the senior recognition portion, honoring 13 seniors in orchestra and 33 in band. Seniors walk up with their parents, receive a flower, and have a short description read about their future plans. With this year’s altered set-up, the senior recognition was moved between the two concerts, rather than at the end of the night.
Overall, the night ran smoothly and separation of the groups made it more convenient for the directors, parents, and and other audience members. As a result, the instrumental music directors hope to continue this new format in the future.
Megan Cooney, the orchestra conductor, said, “I think it went really well. It was very nice, the new arrangement kept the audience less crowded and gave each of the groups a good amount of performance time.”
On the same note, band director and head of the music department, Mike Dynes, said, “I thought it was great. We got a little bit behind our predicted time schedule because we didn’t know how things would flow, but it was not a huge distraction. We might change the order for transitions next year but they’d be very minor changes.”
The directors and audience were not the only ones benefiting from the new arrangement, as students appreciated the option of staying for opposing groups.
Owen Schmidt, a saxophonist in Symphonic band, said, “It was a great experience for the parents and community to come out and watch the students progression from ninth grade to 12th grade.”
Aside from being able to watch all of the performances, the improved time situation, with less wait time overall but a chance for each group not to feel rushed, found favor with most students.
Rayanne Brackey, a violinist in Chamber Orchestra, said, “I liked the shortened time. It made the concert a lot more enjoyable.”
The instrumental music groups have spent months preparing this music and altogether, the concert, improved by its new format, was a great way to finish off the year. The directors were all incredibly proud of their groups performances.
Cooney said, “Both of the orchestras played well, and I thought that all the groups sounded fantastic. The concert was a great representation of the talent in the instrumental music department.