Spring Orchestra Concert

Kayla Tyree, Reporter

The sounds from a mixture of instruments filled the West Anchorage High School auditorium as the orchestra tuned their instruments in preparation for their parents and friends who would soon arrive to enjoy a night of joyous music. On Thursday, March 22, the symphonic and concert orchestras held their Green themed spring concert to have fun and play the night away.

The students of the West Orchestra have been preparing for this concert for months, and they had practiced several of the songs since December. The concert before this had been canceled due to hazardous road conditions so the orchestra utilized the songs they had not been able to play for this concert instead. There were several guest players at the concert, including Katie Eakes, a bassist, and Brady Bryers, an Anchorage Symphony guest artist.

Bryers played bagpipes for the beginning of the final song, Simple Gifts, which was performed by a combination of the symphonic and concert orchestra. Lake Otis elementary school and North star Elementary also came to the concert to play their instruments in the lobby both before and after the concert. “I love having the guests,” said Gabrielle Whitfield, the West orchestra teacher, “they are so generous to always come collaborate with us.”

The concert, however, was not completely without any mistakes. Part of the combined orchestra rushed the beginning of Simple Gifts which caused a bit of a bad start. According to Sydney McQuaid, a senior symphonic orchestra member, some of the people at the back of the stage started to rush the song because they were having trouble seeing the conductor. “Despite the rocky start, we still did well on the song,” she said. Whitfield mentioned the biggest thing she would have the orchestra work on was their intonation, which is playing in tune. “Of course after every concert, you always walk away hoping to get even more in tune next time. but I think [the concert] went well in general.” Whitfield said.  Besides for the mishap at the beginning of Simple Gifts, the orchestra finished off very strong.

After the concert finished, the students held a potluck outside of the auditorium which included cookies, cupcakes, and hot chocolate. A lot of hard work was put into the concert, not only from those in the orchestra, but from the volunteers who helped to organize and set it up. “Some concerts aren’t as fun because the music is harder so we mess up every so often, but we had a lot of fun with it this time,” said Lily SlatonBarker, a sophomore symphonic orchestra player. “If anyone wants to come and see us play they are welcome to and we always enjoy having people come and watch.” Overall, each orchestra did a great job with their songs and it was obvious that they had put a lot of work into practicing for the concert.