On March 31, the CHS Orchestras will travel to southern California for approximately a week; they make a similar trip somewhere like this every three years. Besides visiting attractions and immersing themselves in the Californian culture, orchestra members will also have the rare opportunity to learn from and work with famous music professors.
According to Heather Dickerson, Orchestra Parents’ Club President and organizer of the event, the club finalized the trip in the spring of 2011 and students will finance it completely.
Arthur Shou, Orchestra Council President and senior, said he believes that the trip will be a fantastic experience.
“There is no doubt that the California trip will be a blast. The Orchestra Parents’ Club has worked very hard in working out all the details,” Shou said.
Dickerson said what makes the experience amazing is a combination of what the location has to offer and the wide variety of planned activities.
“The orchestra will listen to the Los Angeles Philharmonic orchestra and record a selected soundtrack from a Disney movie, among other fun activities in Los Angeles and Disneyland,” Dickerson said.
Shou, on the other hand, said he thinks the greatest moments are not necessarily planned.
“To be honest, the biggest highlights of any of these trips are very spontaneous, and those are the memories that we take home,” Shou said.
According to Dickerson, the point of going to such a far-off location, however, is mainly to give the orchestra something that local events cannot offer.
“We’ll be meeting up with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, participating in a high school exchange program with Santa Monica High School and also be working with the renowned Larry Livingston, opportunities that aren’t available from in-state events,” Dickerson said.
Preparation for such trips involves extensive effort. According to Shou, the orchestra will have to prepare its music very well.
“Naturally, we emerge from the entire process, in rehearsing and performing, a stronger orchestra. However, to me, the greatest benefit is spending a solid week as a community. That isn’t something you can get from an afternoon in state. We come closer together and share sweet experiences and memories that last far longer than the trip itself,” Shou said.
The orchestra is not the only CHS organization to take advantage of such opportunities offered by out-of-state events. Last fall, the CHS marching band participated in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade as one of 11 bands chosen to play in the event.
According to Melissa Freeman, trumpet player and senior, the marching band was selected through a series of audition tapes and references and underwent a rigorous regimen for preparation.
“Preparing for the parade made us work as a team, and it also demanded a lot of sacrifice. We had to wake up at 3 a.m., and there was also a 19 hour bus ride there and back,” Freeman said.
Freeman said all the hard work definitely paid off.
“I feel like the more you give, the more you get. The experience of going to New York and playing in one of the biggest parades also made us work as a team and brought all of us closer together,” Freeman said.
According to James Woomert, assistant director of the Carmel orchestras, CHS participated in the Midwest Clinic in 2009, an international competition for orchestras and bands alike. The orchestra, through a rigorous audition process, was able to meet other famous ensembles and schools.
Woomert said, “The big benefit in participating in these events is getting to see other school programs and learning from different situations. It also helps us develop different perspectives and lets us experience other parts of the country.”