Orchestra's John Williams-themed movie music concert a resounding success

Over the past weekend, it wasn’t rare to find students dressed entirely in black in the Performing Arts Center. But the musical ended on Saturday, and last evening the PAC was full of dark clothing again. Only this time, the musicians could be found on the stage alongside younger performers dressed in black and white.
File photo of the L-S High School Orchestra at graduation 2015
Photo: Benjamin Pontz, LSNews.org Editor-In-Chief

The concert was the second district-wide orchestra concert of the year. The first was held in October. This concert, as per tradition for the past couple of years, featured movie music performed by the fourth, fifth/sixth, seventh/eighth, and high school orchestras.

The fourth graders began the concert with Mark Williams' “First Scale March”, a piece which L-S orchestra director Mr. Robert Shaubach chooses for the fourth grade orchestra every year. Old students were pleased to hear the familiar piece. At the October concert, the fourth grade orchestra sat in the pit and demonstrated their basic playing abilities. This concert was the first time these students played on stage and performed “real” music.

One of two fourth grade bass players were unable to attend the concert, so high school senior Hannah Hess stepped in to help out. Although she had performed the music when she was in fourth grade, she commented that the sight-reading was not terrific.

Next, the fifth and sixth grade orchestra took the stage. They played a crowd-favorite “Highlights from Harry Potter”. Clips from the movies were displayed for the audience to watch. The tech crew, led by Mr. Patrick Nightingale, created the presentation which is a remarkable feat after the musical had only ended on Saturday. Spectators such as senior Eric Gross thought that “the screen projecting scenes from the movies was a nice little touch too.”

The crowd also sincerely enjoyed the three-part “Indiana Jones Medley” performed by the seventh and eighth grade orchestra. It featured a very nice viola solo. The group also presented John Williams’s “Hatikva”, one of the songs on the Munich soundtrack.

The high school string orchestra also featured another John Williams song from Munich entitled "A Prayer for Peace." Then the winds joined the strings to play John Williams’s “Jurassic Park”. Because of snow days, the group lost several rehearsals, but the piece actually went rather well nonetheless. It may not have been as musically excellent as it could have been, but the full orchestra left feeling content about the performance.

“Jurassic Park” whistles could be heard for the rest of the evening. Even the tech crew commented that the songs stuck with them.

Finally, all of the orchestras, grades four through twelve, came together to play an arrangement of music from Star Wars. The students were all crammed onto the stage in the same way that they had been before the concert started. Although the concert didn’t start until seven-thirty, Mr. Shaubach wanted to rehearse the Star Wars medley song with all of the groups at seven o’clock. Younger students, including fourth graders who had no music but memorized the main theme, and helped to add to the large-orchestral feel.

Lauren Mast, the high school concert mistress, felt very positive about the performance of “Star Wars Heroes.” 

The concert was a success,” she says, “incorporating the youngest orchestra members and the oldest in our grand finale of Star Wars. Everyone did well and I’m excited to see how the orchestra grows.”

Overall, the orchestras worked very well together. High school kids enjoyed reminiscing about their younger days and performing for other musicians. Younger kids had the experience to hear some great music and interact with good role models.

--Alyssa Van Lenten, LSNews.org Local Editor

Edited: BP

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