Orchestra in the Spotlight

What’s in store for our string musicians?


Photo From stageandcinema.com

The Segerstrom Hall of the Orange County Performing Arts Center is one of the best stages in Southern California, and on March 26, the YLHS/EHS Sinfonia Orchestra will be performing on this stage.

March is the start of the busiest months for our YLHS Orchestras. Both the Sinfonia Orchestra and the String Orchestra will be participating in the SCSBOA Festival. A couple days after that, the Sinfonia Orchestra will perform on one of Orange County’s best stages, the Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa. Following these two events, both Orchestras will be performing at the Area Festivals.

So far, the Orchestras have had several beautiful performances. They started the year with a Fall concert. While the String held its concert at the Forum, the Sinfonia Orchestra was showcased with the other advanced-level orchestras in the district.

Like other schools, the Sinfonia Orchestra is a higher level orchestra that members audition into. The YLHS Sinfonia combines with the Esperanza Sinfonia every year to have a larger group. Along, the YLHS Sinfonia has only eighteen members, but combined, the YLHS/EHS Sinfonia has roughly 50 members, giving the group and fuller sound. 

 Just around the corner, on March 24th, is the annual SCSBOA Music Festival. This event grades and scores different music groups, ranging from bands to orchestras to various ensembles based on their performance. The grading system is based off of numbers that are compiles from the performance and a sight-reading test, in which the students will have to play music that they have never seen before. Then, the groups will receive ratings based on how well their performance went. The highest acclaim is an Unanimous Superior, where all judges award the group with the highest score possible. There will be three judges reviewing the first performance, and a single judge at the sight-reading test.

Last year, the YLHS/EHS Sinfonia was the only Sinfonia in the district to receive an Unanimous Superior in the district. The Mustangs are looking to continue this streak.

The YLHS/EHS Sinfonia will be featured alongside other advanced groups in the district on March 24, in the evening. The String Orchestra will perform on March 23, during the day.

A couple nights after Festival, the YLHS/EHS Sinfonias will head to the Orange County Performing Arts Center, which is home to the world famous LA Philharmonic, on March 26. They have been invited to play on stage and do a quick clinic after their performance. This opportunity is invitation-only and extends to only ten schools in Orange County. YLHS/EHS will be the only high schools representing North County. Their performance time is 4:20 pm. Tickets are $15 and can be purchased from Mr. Mortensen, the Orchestra Director.

“I’m really excited for this experience,” said Andrew Lee (11), a violin player. “It’s a really amazing opportunity to be able to perform on stage.”

After these two performances, the YLHS/EHS Sinfonia will split into 2 smaller groups for the remainder of the year.

In April, the YLHS Orchestras will be featured at the District Area Festival, which will happen three separate nights. Each night is divided by an area of the district and will include a high school, a middle school, and several elementary schools. There will be a night for just string music and another for band. The District Area Festival will be help in April at the Valencia High School Gym.

The final concert of the year for the YLHS Orchestras will be the Spring Concert, which will be held in the Forum. This is the only other time this year that the YLHS String Orchestra and the YLHS Sinfonia Orchestra will perform on the same stage, on the same night. The other night was back in December during the Winter Concert, which is held with the band.

Good Luck in all of your performances, Mustangs!