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The Windy Hill

The student news site of Methacton High School

The student news site of Methacton High School

The Windy Hill

The student news site of Methacton High School

The Windy Hill

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MHS Orchestra Puts On Successful Spring Concert

MHS+Orchestra
MHS Orchestra

The Methacton High School Orchestra performed its spring concert on April 25.

Directed by teacher Mrs. Jennifer DeSanto, the orchestra played a wide variety of pieces. Agincourt was a brisk song with a harder rhythm pattern. A slow song with more advanced fingerings, Largo, followed; an older Dance Suite challenged the students to remain attentive over a longer period of time.

After these pieces, another group, Chamber Strings, performed. They are the most dedicated orchestra students, who have stayed for an extra hour of rehearsal after every regular Wednesday night orchestra rehearsal. Chamber Strings is an auditioned group that performs a repertoire of more advanced songs. In this concert, they played Sonata in D Major, Cinema Paradiso, and Maharaja.

Following Chamber Strings’ performance, the full orchestra played two more songs: Cherry Blossom and The Incredibles. The second was the theme from the Pixar animated film of the same name. However, it was the first, Cherry Blossom, with a more personal backstory for the orchestra, because it was composed by their pianist, Tristan Skinner.

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“This may come as a surprise to people, but I really wasn’t inspired by anything in the making of Cherry Blossom,” Skinner said. ”It was all in my head.” After coming up with a simple melody in biology class one day, the song kept improving. “I couldn’t stop thinking about it, so I eventually forced myself to make it a piece.”

His past experience playing the piano since three years of age helped him when composing. “A lot of my work comes from me scheming on the piano,” Skinner said. The AP Music Theory Course taught by Mr. McCoach also helped him learn how to compose.

Last school year, the orchestra played Flicker, a composition by Michael Hall, who was a senior at Methacton at the time. After editing Cherry Blossom in AP Music Theory, Skinner began to wonder if the same privilege could be extended to his composition.

It was, and the final performance of the piece left Skinner “utterly amazed”. 

“I know I got an award… for my work, but the true award was having it played at all, and that is something I am deeply grateful for.”

Orchestra is offered as a class at the high school, with every day and every-other-day options available. The students have two formal concerts a year, in the winter and in the spring, as well as a less formal performance in March, the String Jamboree, accompanied by optional smaller performance and competition opportunities for which training is provided.

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Margot Ferrara
Margot Ferrara, Staff Writer

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