YLHS String Orchestra Festival


This is a picture of about the set up and instruments that the YLHS String Orchestra had used on the day of festival.

On Wednesday March 29, Yorba Linda High School String Orchestra performed at their annual 2017 Spring Festival where they ranked overall excellent and a superior in sight reading. This orchestra consists of all years of students from new freshmen to seniors who have been in orchestra for all four years of their high school career.

This year, the festival was held at El Dorado High School Performing Arts Center, where the YLHS String Orchestra was set to play at 10:40am. The orchestra was in their usual concert attire, all black for both male and female students, including the teacher, Phillip Mortensen. The students were asked to leave dying their second period class in order to make it to the bus, and therefore the festival, on time. Once there, they watched a fellow strings orchestra from a different high school play, until they then had to go themselves and practice. After leaving the practice room, it was time for them to set up on stage and perform in front of three judges.

They had played three pieces first being, “Bagatelle”, their most challenging piece according to several students in orchestra as well as Mr. Mortensen, who is also the conductor. Their second piece was titled, “Lascia Ch’io Pianga”, a slower ballad that, once translated, means, “Let Me Weep”. “Mantras”, their final song, was, according to Yorba Linda High School student Faith Watanabe (9), “An upbeat and exciting way to end festival.”  

In the end, their overall rating has consisted of two excellents and one superior, totaling in an excellent  as their final rank. After, they headed to the sight reading process, which is when the orchestra is given a piece of sheet music that they must then read through without practice or any prior knowledge of the piece to test and examine their natural talent and adaptiveness to a new sheet of music. There, they were ranked superior for sight reading, which is the highest ranking out of the five levels. The rank goes poor, fair, good, excellent, then finally superior, at the highest level.

After performing at both sessions, the String Orchestra then went back to the Performing Arts Center to receive their final score of and excellent, then head back to the high school. Upon return, the students then switched out of their concert attire and returned just in one for lunch.Overall, the Yorba Linda High School String Orchestra walked away with an excellent rating and a superior in sight reading under the direction of Mr. Mortensen.