Elementary and Junior High Winter Orchestra

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

We accompanied our 5th grader as he was going to perform in the winter orchestra at their school. Our eldest started playing violin 5 years ago, when he was still homeschooled in the Philippines. When we moved to the US, he stopped playing. In their music class, he chose to join the Beginner's Orchestra group and he had to start with his violin lessons from scratch. It's a good thing because he lost most of his skills from his previous lessons. The winter orchestra is their first of 3 performances for the school year.

Winter Concert Atmosphere - the performance was held at the auditorium of the school district's high school. The audience were mostly family members of those who were performing.

Grade 5 Performance: My son is the kid in front of the second column from the left. I was pretty amused at the applause the audience gave the beginner's orchestra after each tune.

Grade 6 Peformance: There is a young Fil-Am amongst the better players in this group. He is the violin player on the left of the conductor. The group played a catchy "Frosty the Snowman" and the audience responded by clapping along. My son said they shouldn't have done that because it was difficult to hear the music. I thought it was just appropriate - the audience were showing their appreciation. And, it was sort of a family-type concert, not a formal one.

Grade 7: Look for a guy on the far-end left. He was really good. I'm not a violin expert but one could tell he was enjoying and performing well. He was one of the few violin soloists, and he also played a different instrument later in the evening.

Junior High (Grade 7 & Grade 8) Ensemble: Playing one of the more popular pieces for the night. My wife actually counted that of the 16 members of the group, 13 of them were of Asian descent.

Flashback: Video of my son 5 years ago performing at his first violin group recital in the Philippines. He stopped playing the violin for 4 years and had to start again under the beginner's orchestra group at age 10. Now that I think about it, the complexity of what he was doing then was not much different from what he was doing now.