Orchestra takes Colorado trip; Orchestra and Choir to hold fall concerts


Courtesy Photo

Orchestra students rock climb at Garden of the Gods in Denver, Colorado on Sept. 18.

The beginning of the school year is a busy time for many students, especially those involved in extracurricular activities such as music.
Hays High Chamber and Concert Orchestras took a trip to Colorado Saturday, Sept. 18.
Orchestra students saw the Colorado Symphony perform in a concert, went to the Denver Aquarium and Red Rocks Amphitheatre and climbed in Garden of the Gods.
“It’s very inspiring to watch these professionals, and it betters our own playing to observe them,” orchestra instructor Joan Crull said.
The concert featured Emanual Ax, who performed a piano concerto. The Colorado Symphony performed “Pictures at an Exhibition” by Modest Mussorgsky and “Adagio for Strings” by Samuel Barber.
“We were absolutely blown away by the Colorado Symphony,” Crull said. “The pianist was so good, he got four curtain calls and played an encore for us!”
Orchestra takes a trip every school year to see a major orchestra.
“We’ve also gone to Oklahoma City, Omaha and Kansas City to see the symphonies there,” Crull said.
Chamber and Concert Orchestras, Chorale, Concert Choir and Chamber Singers will have their Fall Concert Tuesday, Oct. 12 at the Beach-Schmidt Performing Arts Center at Fort Hays State University.
Each of the music groups have been following the Ellis County Health Department guidelines given to the school district, and quarantines and isolations are only issued when necessary and ruled by testing and contract tracing.
“Students and audiences are encouraged to wear a mask, but not required,” choir director Alex Underwood said. “We also try and space out as much as possible.”
The concert theme will be “Home.”
“Students in the choirs and orchestras have been researching and choosing a non-profit organization that supports those who suffer from homelessness to benefit at our concert,” Underwood said.
Chorale, Concert Choir and Chamber Singer have been rehearsing this music since the start of the semester.
“You could think of this music as our curriculum and the Fall Concert as the mid-term exam,” Underwood said.
Underwood said he is looking forward to the concert and performances from each of the groups.
“Working with the choirs is my favorite part of my job,” Underwood said. “Getting to watch all of their hard work come to fruition is rewarding for them and for me.”
Chamber and Concert Orchestras have also been working on the fall concert music since school started.
“Both groups will play several pieces, with a variety of styles. Mr. H, our new principal will even join us on a number or two on the drum set,” Crull said.
Due to COVID-19, last year’s concerts were all performed at Hays High.
“We’re very happy to be back performing in an auditorium instead of the gym like last year,” Crull said. “I’m proud of how hard these students have been working and eager to have them play for you!”
Choir and Orchestra will be having their Winter Concert on Dec. 16, along with band.
“This concert demonstrates not only an opportunity for our student musicians to perform, but also how musical performances can function as a service to help better our communities,” Underwood said. “Students have ownership over this performance project, and the impact it will make long after the final note has been sung.”