By Ben Wesley
For clarification, there is a difference between orchestra and band. The string orchestra consists of four instruments: the violin, viola, cello, and bass; while the band uses other instruments.
However, for the holiday concert, the string orchestra and band team up to form a full orchestra, which has more than just strings.
Mrs. Ashley McDaniel, the orchestra teacher in the Red Lion school district, only joined Red Lion this year. After working at a private school in Maryland, she now leads the senior high and junior high orchestras, as well as teaching eighth grade music classes.
The purpose of the orchestra, McDaniel said, is “to enrich the students’ musical experiences, to have fun, and to express ourselves.”
After all, she pointed out, music is how we relieve stress, celebrate, and simply experience life.
Freshman Abigail Mitzel said that she joined the orchestra not only because she likes to play music, but because she likes playing with other people.
“Playing by myself is fun,” Mitzel said, “but I like playing with other people because I like how all the parts come together.”
Like her fellow orchestra members, she is enjoying learning “Viva la Vida” by Coldplay. “We all love to play it,” Mitzel said. “It sounds really great when played by an orchestra.”
Senior Tiffany Beckette echoed Mitzel’s thoughts. “I’m scared to death to play by myself,” she said, but noted that she enjoys playing in a group.
Sophomore Isaac Sattazahn, a member of the county-wide York Youth Symphony Orchestra as well as the school’s orchestra, was influenced to join the string orchestra by his older sister.
“I love playing music so much,” Sattazahn said. “It’s good to play in other ensembles.” However, his personal favorite piece that the orchestra is currently learning isn’t the more modern Viva la Vida. It’s “Allegro in D” by Antonio Vivaldi, who lived in the 1700’s.
The music that the orchestra plays is selected for a variety of factors. McDaniel said it is generally “a mix of things we enjoy playing, that the audience will enjoy listening to, that will challenge us but that we can learn before the concert.”
The orchestra’s spring concert is on May 15, and will feature a variety of genres, from classical music by Vivaldi and Bach to folk songs. However, the highlight for the audience will likely be the orchestra’s performance of Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida.”
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