In a crowded room with forty students inside, beautiful harmonies come streaming into the hallway. The look of focus on the student’s faces show their passion for their music. Instruments held with grace and pride, Leesville’s Orchestra is a group that puts their hard work and skill directly into the music they perform and their hard work shows.
Most students start their journey into orchestra in middle school, where the lines between the two schools blend together in the Murphy Building, as middle schoolers get their first look into some of the high school classes. “It was a slightly different dynamic in terms of orchestra, mainly because you had people who were more experienced,” said Marie Cox, a sophomore who plays the cello. “Overall it wasn’t that much of a transition… everyone was super accepting.”
As a requirement of the class, students have to complete at least 150 minutes of practice a week, along with tracking goals and strategies to help them improve. As an addition to practice time, the curriculum also includes music theory that tests student knowledge on their passion.
Through rigorous practice and strong bonds between the students, the orchestra as a whole has a strong record of excellent competition. Although they haven’t competed in a couple of years, their past achievements line the walls as a reminder that great future musicians have come from that classroom.
While the group may not compete, they do go on fun annual trips to play in different areas. “Last year we went to NYC and played on an aircraft carrier, and that was pretty memorable” said Cox.
Orchestra is one of the many enriching electives in the arts department at Leesville, allowing space for students to be creative. The room in the Murphy Building is not only filled with music, it’s filled with strength and determination –to perfect a craft that can sometimes be overlooked.