Hannah Shi, ’19
This year, fourteen orchestra students were asked to participate in the South Central Regional Orchestra in November. A combination of students from both Concert and Symphony orchestras were accepted, with at least one player of each string instrument.
Ohio Music Education Association holds regional, and then state level orchestrals annually, with high school participants from schools throughout Ohio. Every year, many high school students audition for a seat in their region’s orchestra.
The process of auditioning includes players recording themselves playing two excerpts of predetermined pieces, and submitting them electronically to judges. Judges determine the accepted students, and the seating chart of different sections.
Additionally, because seats are limited, being invited to play is an accomplishment many students feel proud of and look forward to. Junior Elizabeth Macintosh, a viola player who will participate in her first Regional Orchestra this November, looks forward to the experience.
“When I was accepted, I was excited to experience something unlike anything I had in the past,” Macintosh says. Regional Orchestra provides a unique experience of a full orchestra, which includes strings, winds, woodwinds, and brass players.
Alongside the experience of a full orchestra, Regional Orchestra provides students the opportunity to play music that UAHS’s orchestras wouldn’t have access to. Orchestra teacher Ed Zunic explains that many factors make the music in Regional Orchestra pieces unique.
“We’re not a school that has a full orchestra, and the music that we play often times is an arrangement,” says Zunic. Arranged music is often used in schools, because of the lack of full orchestras and skill to play professional level music.
However, the use of unarranged, original music is yet another learning opportunity for Regional players.
“You’re treated like a professional musician. You’re given the music, and you have a limited amount of time to put it together with the conductor … it [also] gives you a glimpse as to what it would be like to work with a college professor as a conductor,” Zunic says.
Another positive experience for accepted students is meeting other players. Because not all students’ schedules allow them to participate in year-round orchestras or chamber groups, Regional weekend allows players to meet other student musicians.
Sophomore and Violin player Joanna Li, who will be returning for her second year of Regional Orchestra, says the social experience makes Region different than UAHS’s orchestras.
“It’s nice challenge, especially since you get to work with kids from around the region, people you don’t usually meet,” said Li.
This year, Regional Orchestra will take place at Dublin Coffman High School on November 11, 12, and 13, with a performance at 3:00 p.m. Upper Arlington’s accepted students include freshman Susan Zunic, sophomores Evelyn Holman, Joanna Li, Kyle MacLaughlin, Stuti Shah, Hannah Shi, juniors Emily Ji, Anna Macintosh, Elizabeth Macintosh, Christine Wu, Gaven Zou and seniors Nicole Holman, Claire Shuler, and Jack Taylor.