Orchestra collaboration leads to historically large concert

Middle school students join high school in Feb. 14 showcase


A. Wiley

77 students performed in the concert on Monday.

By Angel Wiley

Lights dim and soon the symphonic orchestra begins warming up their instruments. The sounds which clash and mesh together contrasted the gorgeous performance that followed.
Feb. 14 was the first concert in the new year of 2022 and the high schoolers worked with eighth graders. This is important because it serves as a learning experience for everyone who participated. The high schoolers, many who are now seniors and in the first graduating class of orchestra musicians, were encouraged to interact with and mentor the middle schoolers.
“Then during our dinner I witnessed some of our middle schoolers socializing with high schoolers without being asked to do so,” said Laura Whitaker, the orchestra teacher at Heineman Middle School. “I am so excited that our middle school students are making connections at the high school before they’re in high school.”
Additionally, because of this collaboration, the concert/philharmonic, symphonic, and eighth graders, who all usually play separate pieces, joined together to perform the largest orchestra concert in the history of HHS.
“We had 77 students performing together as an orchestra. Our orchestra program is growing, and I am so proud of all these students for building this program and paving the way for our program moving forward,” orchestra teacher Jeffrey Rollins said.
Even the students performing were excited about the achievement.
“It was such a large group of musicians and it was so cool to see who would be coming into our program next year. The sheer size of the ensemble made it way more fulfilling than previous years,” said seniorKelsey Moersfelder, first chair violinist in the combined orchestra.
As a whole, the music, exemplary performance and improvement of the orchestra made the event a lively, unforgettable experience that Huntley will not want to miss in upcoming years.