Orchestra concert snowed out


Alice Yu

With a six-hour countdown ticking off until the joint concert between both Rock Bridge orchestras and the orchestras of Gentry and Jefferson Middle School, Mother Nature’s own plans forced conductors to call off all preparation and cancel the concert. Unlike other orchestra concerts throughout this year, this concert was going to include middle school orchestras, give incoming freshmen a taste of the high school orchestra experience.
“The purpose was to get the middle schools excited about high school orchestra and want them to come and play in our group and continue on in high school.,” Chamber orchestra conductor Jeanne Lambson said.
Originally, each orchestra would perform a few pieces from their own repertoire. Then both Chamber and Concert would play Doug Spata’s Crusaders with the Jefferson orchestra and Brian Balmages’ Spartacus with the Gentry orchestra. But the threat of snow prompted Jefferson Middle school to cancel all afterschool and evening activities.
“We talked to the two middle schools because we had heard that another middle school that was not in our group had cancelled their after school and evening activities, so that made Mr. Mathews and I a little concerned, “Lambson said. “We called both Gentry and Jeff and I found out that Jeff had cancelled all of their evening activities and since this is a combined effort between the two middle schools and us, we had to cancel. It wasn’t really determined until the beginning of third block. It was very, very sudden.”
Despite the cancellation, Lambson and Mathews are still looking to bring the middle school and high school orchestras together. Looking to invite them over during class time rather than reschedule the concert, both conductors want to exhaust all options before passing up a recruitment opportunity.
“We have talked about inviting Gentry Middle School and Jeff Middle School to come here during the school day to still perform together, still play Spartacus and Crusader and we would still play for them,” Lambson said. “I don’t know what day we’ll be able to do it. We’ll have to talk to the two teachers and see what works in their schedule and see if we can make it work.”
Students were also looking forward to giving incoming freshmen a sneak peak into the world of orchestra at RBHS. By demonstrating the results of intense rehearsals, students wanted to encourage and solidify the middle schoolers’ desires to continue playing in a high school orchestra.
“I thought that was really great because I think orchestra is a really great thing to be involved in,“ sophomore Alli Foster said. “I think we should definitely be trying to get more people to come so we can still have a big enough orchestra to do fun stuff every year.”
With a potential visit from the middle schoolers in the works, orchestra members see it as a much improved opportunity for interaction and in-depth learning.
“I think it might even be better because we’ll have more time and more one-on-one time with them and I think they’ll be more excited about it,” senior Lily Farnen said. “I think it’s a good idea.”
Not only will there be more time to actually interact with each other, middle schoolers might even be able to sit in on a rehearsal to get the full experience.
“I actually think it would be cooler if we could get them to come over during the day because a concert is obviously for seeing what we can put together,” Foster said. “That’s pretty cool, but I think it’d be more beneficial for them to see what we do every day during class so they can really see if they want to join it because it’s a pretty big commitment.”
By Alice Yu
photo by Alice Yu