Orchestra Performs at Northwestern University


Michael Bevente, Staff Reporter

On October 18th, 2015, The Vernon Hills High School orchestra ensemble performed at Northwestern University for the Midwest Young Artist recital. According to cellist Timothy Lee (11), “The concert was a huge success and was a representation of the hard work we put in.”

The Midwest Young Artist group is a renowned musical organization that specializes in the mastery of fine arts. Headquartered in the heart of Highland Park’s North Shore area, the orchestra travels there weekly to practice and rehearse. In addition to traditional practice, it provides the musicians with a rich network of like minded individuals who they can learn from.

According to Jason Heath, the VHHS Orchestra director, “MYA is a fantastic opportunity for dedicated students to hone their craft with like-minded individuals from other schools. It’s a positive environment and helps students to reach new levels of achievement.”

Timothy Lee (11) has mentioned how he cannot wait to learn new pieces at Midwest Young Artist so he can experience performing them with the orchestra. “MYA has given me the opportunity to play  sophisticated music with great high school musicians from all over the Midwest. Symphonie Fantastique was a success and I cannot wait wait to play Straus’s Don Juan in the spring.”

This high level of dedication among the Orchestra allowed them to perform an exquisite set of pieces at Northwestern University’s Pick Staiger Hall. The orchestra prepared a variety of challenging, yet intriguing pieces to recite at the concert. The pieces chosen add to the enrichment of being a musician. As Adam Lee (11) puts it, “Symphonie Fantastique is a nice piece, but I really didn’t realize the actual meaning to the music. I always get to know it after a period of time, and Berlioz shows a really great story through his romantic music.” The orchestra performed these meaningful pieces with a meticulous attention to detail, bringing the orchestra to a high level of sophistication and expertise.

Sneha Sivaram (12), an oboe player in the orchestra, explained how the positive synergy of the orchestra adds to the overall success of their recitals. She stated, “Were all a group of passionate musicians that come together and create something that’s extraordinary. We play very hard, serious music that involves lots of practice.”  It is an experience that I will look back on.” As the school year progresses, the orchestra will continue practicing in preparation for future recitals and concerts.