Last Thursday I got the chance to attend Orchestra Night; an event where students were invited to perform, based on either their performance at a prior event, or just by being part of a robust school orchestra program. my sister being eligible by the former. The performance was held at Hill Auditorium at the University of Michigan, in the evening. Schools performing were: Forsythe, Ann Arbor Open’s concert orchestra, Slauson’s Concert Orchestra, Clague’s Concert Orchestra, Tappan’s Concert Orchestra, Scarlett’s Concert Orchestra, Huron’s Symphony Orchestra, Skyline Orchestra, and Pioneer’s Symphony Orchestra.
The building was just big enough to allow everyone, as far as I could tell, a nice view of the orchestras. The stage was set up like a standard seating, with violins, violas, cellos, and basses in regular positions. From upstage right to upstage left there were: percussion, brass and woodwind, timpanis, and bass. Huron, additionally, brought out a harp for their performance. From where i was at i could hear the acoustics very well.
Each school played 2 pieces, except for the last schools to perform, but i feel that they got the same amount of time to perform as the others. The highlight of the concert were the strings, but the brass and percussion really gave the music a punchy feel( on some songs even enough to wake the sleeping man next to me), and the woodwinds were used really to compliment the violins. with the exception of maybe 1 or 2 of the middle schools, i saw a contrast in playing. other schools had a lot of band instruments, while some didn’t, and some barely used percussion.
The main difference between the orchestras, though, was the confidence and synergy. I could tell which school loved to play the music, which school was not confident, and which school didn’t care/ was very confident. I felt the...