By Laurel Quigley.
From March 26th to April 2nd, orchestra members auditioned with Ms. Alston for a seat in Symphony or Chamber Orchestra. Heritage Academy has three string ensembles: Concert Orchestra is open to all string players, with entrance to Symphony and Chamber Orchestra by audition only. Chamber Orchestra is Heritage’s top string ensemble with mostly high school student musicians. This elite group competes in the Arizona Band and Orchestra Directors Association (ABODA) festival each fall, and members are required to audition for regionals each winter. Chamber Orchestra members also travel on the annual music department tour each spring. Just a few weeks ago, at the San Diego tour, the ensemble earned a gold rating and won first place, demonstrating the members’ motivation to rise. The week of auditions, the announcement of the 2019 Hawaii tour added to the drive for students to perform their best.
To audition for Chamber Orchestra, instrumentalists were first required to complete an audition application with ten short answer questions. “Why would you like to be a member of Chamber Orchestra?” “Do you take private lessons?” etc. These questions and others helped Ms. Alston to gauge the musician’s level of commitment. Then, during the live audition portion, musicians were required to play three scales: Bb Major, E Major, F# melodic minor, and the three-octave arpeggio accompanying each scale. Finally, each student played the short audition piece provided. This audition gave students a glimpse into the requirements for Chamber, which include weekly playing tests and frequent chair auditions. These requirements help prepare Chamber members for their quarterly concerts, in two of which they combine with band to play as a full orchestra.
Results were posted Wednesday, April 4th on the whiteboard outside the orchestra room. Congratulations to all those who made Symphony or Chamber Orchestra for the 2018 to 2019 school year. At every skill level, playing an instrument as part of a group brings new exciting opportunities.