Orchestra finds success at winter concert

Kaitlin Clark, Entertainment Editor

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The Manhattan High orchestras helped ring in the holiday season with a little magic in their annual Orchestravaganza winter concert. The theme of the year was ‘magic,’ which was incorporated in various ways throughout the Wednesday and Thursday performances including with dancing, magic tricks and synchronized lights.

“I felt like this year was more hands on and included a lot more dancing and various acts,” junior Tarryn Lancaster said. “It was an epic sight to see.”

The orchestra had to be at their best in order to bring such a difficult theme to life and pull off such a large undertaking.

“It was a concert that brought people out of their comfort zones, never having worked with the concept of magic before,” junior Anna Mackay said. “[It] brought people together to be able to make everything happen the way it needed to happen. It was a learning experience for all, getting to have the pressure of working under more pressure than normal.”

Inevitably, there were missteps along the way, but the orchestra always managed to find a way to get back on track and keep going.

“The orchestra’s biggest success was being able to play through the music even when there were mistakes and plowing through the end, not letting anything stop them,” Mackay said.

Wednesday night was a night of trial and error for the orchestra, since it was their first time performing the show for an audience. Setbacks included the accidental reveal of some of the magic tricks during act one, as well as certain spots where performers weren’t playing together in tempo.

“I believe that the orchestra struggles with paying attention to the conductor,” Lancaster said. “He’s the true tempo that keeps us orchestra players together as a solid group.”

The winter concert proved to be technically difficult as well, with musicians balancing many different aspects of the performance that they may not be accustomed to.

“We were a little unprepared for all the technical aspects of the first act,” junior Tejaswi Shrestha said. “Our first complete run through was actually the first night. I guess that in our orchestra there is always so much going on that we have learned to be successful through the chaos.”

Despite their setbacks, the orchestra managed to pull through as a group and create a memorable, lively performance for all who attended.

“My favorite part of performing is always playing the Trans-Siberian Orchestra music for everyone,” Lancaster said. “It’s always very fun performing for people who appreciate this type of music, it really is a concert for everyone.”

Orchestra members felt that the amount of support they were given made all of their time and efforts worth it.

“I loved performing for such a big audience,” Shrestha said. “Usually, the people who come to our shows are parents, but this time there were lots of people from the school and community. It was a great way for us to share.”

Even though they may have experienced some setbacks, students had a great time while creating even tighter bonds with their fellow musicians.

“Our orchestra was able to pull off a concert that showcased so many different skills,” Shrestha said. “I think that we are really diverse in what our members can do, which helped make the show a huge success.

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