Piece by piece


Brandon Mensah

Members of Orchestra preparing to perform

“I just love music,” Eliseo Cristobal (9) said. “The way music is written, sometimes you like it [and] sometimes you don’t, but that’s music.”    

Many musicians feel this way, and the students in the Orchestra program have made this their personal philosophy. The Orchestra program, taught by Dr. Andrew Palmer during periods 6 and 7 in the band room, is comprised of seasoned musicians who have played since elementary school or early middle school. In the WSHS orchestra program, there are four instruments students can play: violin, viola, cello, and bass.  Students report that the class offers many benefits.

“It lets me express myself in a way that I enjoy,” Caleb Thompson (10) said.

Some students have even found that Orchestra can help socially. It also can help the players unite in playing a piece at its best.

“[I like] meeting new people and hearing people play the pieces in unity,” Ashlen Williams (10) said.  

For freshmen, there is a good adjustment into the orchestra program, but there is a time when the freshmen have to learn more personally.

“In my middle school, the teacher had to be over us more, but in high school, the teacher lets you learn more on your own,” Langston Suggs (9) said.

The freshmen are also given more performance opportunities than they were in middle school, giving them a chance to display their art.

“My favorite part of orchestra is being able to play outside of school and performing for other people,” Nathan Stubbs (9) said.

Many students want to continue their instruments after high school.

“The college I plan to attend is Julliard,” Kyler Hamilton, sophomore violinist, said. “I plan to put in hard work to achieve a violin or a jazz scholarship. I also plan to major in musical performance.”

The course has even helped White Station alumni John McKissack, who is currently attending Yale, reach his goals.

Joining orchestra can show anyone a broad form of musical art. To get a taste of the program, attend their winter concert on Dec. 5.