The Phoenix Fire

Winter Orchestra Concert

Nathan Yuan, News Reporter

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The recent orchestra concert held on Thursday, February 21st, organized by Ms. Tyus, the orchestra director, marked the second concert this school year at Kennedy Junior High School. The February concert highlighted three veteran orchestras that each played three pieces and an advanced ensemble which played one song.

This year, the February concert’s theme was “Music From Around the World.” The 6th grade orchestra played “Small Overture” by Bob Matthews, a shorter song with tones of Baroque and Classical music. They also played “Rhythms of Africa” by Soon Hee Newbold, a contemporary piece with exotic instruments such as the rainstick, and “Conquistador,” a piece inspired by the Roman empire, by Deborah Baker Monday.

Traveling to the Americas, 7th grade played “El Gaucho,” a piece by Bob Lipton and heavily influenced by Latin American music, “Kingdom Dance,” a piece from the Disney movie Tangled by Alan Menken, and another mainstream piece, “The Greatest Showman” from The Greatest Showman by Benj Pasik and Justin Paul.

In between the 7th and 8th grade orchestra, Advanced Ensemble, a smaller collection of talented orchestra students played the piece “American Reel” by Kirt Moiser. For the finale, the 8th grade orchestra played “Norwegian Dance No.1” by Edvard Greig, a playful song which Ms. Tyus describes as “laughter.” They also demonstrated their skills in “Arabian Dreams” by Soon Hee Newbold, another contemporary piece involving fast paced melodies, and “Pirates of the Caribbean on Stranger Tides” by Hans Zimmer, involving a mix of action-packed tunes and slow melodic lines.

The February concert also holds symbolic meaning. On February 21st, the concert marked the last time that the 8th grade Kennedy Orchestra would play together at Kennedy. At the end of the concert, two students, Gloria Baek and Adelyn Mui, gave Mss. Tyus a bouquet of flowers as a thank-you-gift for being their orchestra director since elementary school. Ms. Tyus, in response, said that she would “miss all of [them] and hope that [they] continue with orchestra in high school.”

Overall, Ms. Tyus would call the performance a success, citing that “every year, [the orchestras] surprise [her] on how well [they] do,” and that she would “miss having” the 8th grade students around. In the end, Ms. Tyus concluded the concert thanking all that came and congratulated “all of the orchestra students that have made it this far.”

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Winter Orchestra Concert