Student Musicians Prepare for Kansas City Metro All-Districts

Bryttany Holovach, Multimedia Editor

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Seven students have been selected for the Kansas City Metro All-District Orchestra. They auditioned with hundreds of other students from around the metro area; it is a huge accomplishment for the students to have been selected according to orchestra teacher James Freise. After success in auditions, preparation is not over.

With so much competition, a significant amount of preparation is needed, Freise said. Extra time out of class was a major component; even taking time during the summer to practice was asked of the studentsin order to make All-Districts, according to Freise. Junior Jennifer Whitehead made first chair cello in the string orchestra; she said that she was surprised to have made it. The thing Whitehead worked the most on was the scales and excerpts. This is the first time that she’s placed as a lead, which makes All-Districts anew experience, for her, Whitehead said. In addition to Whitehead, Junior Hannah Reilly placed first chair in bass for the string orchestra; this is her first time as a lead.

“I was really excited when I found out, because I got a lead this year,” said Reilly.

Reilly also said that she tried to practice on a more regular schedule in order to improve at playing the bass. Another student who made string orchestra was sophomore Gensis Castulo, placing second violin and 15th chair. Castulo said she is determined to reach mastery in order for the music to sound fluent. .

Placing in all-districts takes on a new responsibility said Castulo.

“I would say making all districts is a huge responsibility, because practicing and trying to perfect it is quite a challenge,” said Castulo.

When asking students what it feels like to preform, many believe, like sophomore Brittani Lubeck, that it was honor. Lubeck placed second violin and 15th chair in the string orchestra; this is her first year earning a spot in all districts. She said she had to commit every day in order to make it.

“Placing in All-Districts felt amazing; I achieved something I’ve always wanted,” said Lubeck.

Even though performing is something, most of the students thrive for, nerves can be hard to get a grip of said Lubeck. Not only was the audition nerve racking, but now the students are preparing for an even more anxiety-inducing performance, according to Whitehead.

The performance for all districts is here at Staley on Jan. 10th at 7 p.m., Freise offered some advice for the preparing students.

“The best advice I could give them is to take deep breaths, not let nerves get to them and to also have fun while performing,” said Freise.