Orchestra Festival 2021

By Lina Woelk

            The Orchestra festival at Laramie High School took place last week, where many students in a variety of orchestra classes played for state adjudicators and were judged on their solos, ensembles, and full orchestra performances.

Orchestra teacher Jennifer Lyford outlined the importance of this event for her and the students.

There were two main events that her students were being judged on for this makeshift festival after the cancellation of many performances due to COVID.

“[There is] a large group ensemble and the other one is solo and ensemble, and for the group ensemble we had our three orchestras perform, and they all played 15-20 minutes of music, and then had ten minutes with the adjudicator to get comments and work on things [in their music],” Lyford said.

The adjudicators follow a specific rubric when judging the students, based off of sound quality, intonation, stage presence and many other factors.

The Laramie Orchestra did have a very successful festival and all of the large ensemble groups received division one ratings from the judges.

As for the solo and ensemble groups, the students either play by themselves or in a duet, trio, or quartet with their fellow classmates, again being judged and scored by the adjudicators.

Junior Thomas Faber played in a solo and ensemble during the festival.

“My ensemble, as well as my solo, both received a superior rating, and overall I was extremely pleased with both of my performances,” Faber said.

            Faber performed the First Movement of “Sonata in D minor Op. 5, No. 8” by Arcangelo Corelli for his solo.

The entire music department at LHS made the tough decision to just hold their music festival completely in Laramie due to COVID-19 precautions.

“We did not travel to Cheyenne, which is the normal routine, and we were also able to schedule our own events at times that were convenient for our groups,” Lyford said.

The music department spread out each of their festivals throughout the past 3-4 weeks, to provide the students and judges with enough time to play and practice.

The festival season is usually many students’ main part of the school year when it comes to music, and it provides them with the opportunity to play for others as well as gather information on their playing and how to improve.

“I really enjoy the atmosphere of a festival. The nerves, the anticipation, and the excitement make it a very special experience that you only get when performing in this way,” Faber said.

Overall, the orchestra performed very well in the eyes of the adjudicators, with most solos and ensembles receiving superior and excellent ratings.

“We managed to do a really great performance, and they really played some nice solos and ensembles yesterday, and I was really proud of the effort they put into it, and the results,” Lyford said.

The orchestra has concluded their festival season, and will have their final performance on May 18 at LHS.