Laramie High School students performed in a chamber orchestra concert on Feb. 20 at the LHS theater.

The concert was free and open to the public.

Members of the chamber orchestra perform in a variety of different groups, including string quartets and quintets.

The groups have been practicing for weeks to perform in the concert.

“My chamber group practiced at least twice a week in class and occasionally outside of class. I also incorporated my part into my daily practice,” junior Rebecca Lyford said.

The groups performed a variety of pieces on Thursday night. The night included pieces by famous composers such as Shostakovich and Borodin.

“I played the Shostakovich Piano Quintet, which is a difficult piece, not in technical difficulty, but more due to the stylistic aspects of it. Shostakovich is one of my favorite composers,” Lyford said.

The concert is a culmination of weeks of hard work, dedication and practice. The members of the chamber orchestra experience a lot of pressure, but most are seasoned in performing.

“I always get nervous before a concert, but I have gotten better about handling my nervousness and putting it towards more purposeful uses when I perform,” Lyford said.

Lyford uses her anxiety to put more energy and excitement to the piece. It adds to the stylistic nature of the work.

Members of the orchestra have been playing their instruments for a large portion of their lives. Many started playing in their young childhood.

Lyford was part of a five-person string quintet and a long-time member of the chamber orchestra, a part of the group since her freshman year of high school.

“I auditioned in eigth-grade and have been playing in chamber since then. The audition included a scale, an excerpt from an orchestral piece, and a sight reading,” Lyford said.

I have been playing the violin since I was four years old, mainly due to mother’s influence as she is a violinist,” Lyford said.

The chamber orchestra travels in and outside the state to perform and have traveled outside the country to perform.

Since the start of Lyford’s time in the orchestra, the group has traveled to play for the Wyoming legislature and the South East District Festival as well as many other musical events. Last year the group traveled to Ireland to perform.

Chamber orchestra also produces students with many achievements their music and motivates them to continue their musical career after high school.

“I attended All-Northwest orchestra in 2019, which is a very selective orchestra including only ten students from each state,” Lyford said. She has a multitude of accomplishments within the group, including making the All-State orchestra three times.

Many members of the orchestra continue their musical education after leaving the high school chamber orchestra.

“I will most likely audition for a professional symphony after college, and major music at whatever university I attend,” Lyford said.

The chamber orchestra will perform next at the LHS festival concert and then travel to perform at the South East District Festival in Cheyenne.