We’ve done it! We finally have an in-school orchestra class that counts for arts credit, and it’s doing great! It took struggle and persistence, petitioning, and meetings for this class. The 5th-period full-orchestra has nineteen people this year and continues to get better every day.
The orchestra’s journey
According to Dr. Tony Spano,”It’s been nineteen years since the last orchestra class that had only about five kids”. Then years later a student started the after-school orchestra with AVPA which has been doing very well and growing every year from an original number of four kids.
Last year a group of 8th graders from the middle school’s award-winning, 50+ student orchestra, demanded a place to continue playing their instrument. Their goal was to have an orchestra class provided to the CCHS music students that fit in with their daily schedule at school.
Only having one elective spot during the day at school has really hurt the enrollment of other non-language electives such as CCHS’s music programs. According to Dr. Spano, “well there just aren’t enough classes to take everything that you need to take, first of all to graduate high school and to get into the college or university you want to go to, as well as take classes that will also expand your own growth…. Even with arts electives, where only one year is required, it is so much better to be able to take that class all through high school.”
Having two orchestras, one being during the day means that “there are many more students wanting to play music who are now able to, which allows more kids to be exposed to music and the arts,” says Dr. Spano. “This certainly looks better on college applications as an addition… Having a school-run orchestra, fitting in with students schedules, furthers Culver High’s outreach to the arts and for students who might want to major in music but have other activities after school that they don’t want to compromise,” he elaborates.
Fall concert plans!
At the fall concert, the orchestra is doing two Halloween related pieces, as the theme of the concert, this year is Halloween. However, not all of the pieces by each performance group have to do with the theme. The orchestra will be performing, “The Haunted Carousel”, and “This is Halloween” from Tim Burton’s movie, and “The Nightmare Before Christmas”. Dr. Spano mentioned there will be six ensembles performing this Thursday, the 26th of October. All six ensembles will be performing at the winter concert as well. The concert is at the Vets auditorium at 7:00 pm, and there will be a carnival, games, prizes, and candy for younger students, middle school age or younger at 6¶00 pm.
If you want to have a fun time, listen to amazingly talented students, or support your friends who are playing, come to the concert and listen to our amazing new orchestra to witness their first concert of the century. Bring a costume and have fun! Don’t worry, entrance is free!