The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

The student-run news site of Lawrence Free State High School

Free Press Online

    NEWS: Orchestra Sweeps Districts

    23 students qualify for this year’s district orchestra
    +Laughing%2C+senior+Elliot+Storm+plays+the+cello+with+the+rest+of+the+chamber+orchestra+at+the+fall+concert.+Photo+Courtesy+of+Cooper+Stone.+
    Cooper Stone
    Laughing, senior Elliot Storm plays the cello with the rest of the chamber orchestra at the fall concert. Photo Courtesy of Cooper Stone.

    After waking up early into the morning and loading themselves into for the long drive to Topeka Middle School, 23 Free State Orchestra student’s hard work was rewarded with a ticket into the district orchestra.

    This year, Free State makes up 23% of the 101 person district orchestra. Three of the five positions of section leader are held by Free State students with Aiden Ayala in violin 1, Amaya Gab in violin 2, and Sawyer Janssen in first chair for bassists. 

    For every student trying out, a great deal of effort is put in before the audition and in the month between qualifying and the actual performance. Orchestra director, Heather Madgwick, said she considers just auditioning an achievement on its own with the music for auditions being typically more difficult than what’s played at the performance.

    “I’ve always known we had strong students coming out of Free State,” Madgwick said.“Even those who went through the process, preparing All State and District excerpts for a blind audition, have something to be proud of.”

    Despite how much work it takes to be a part of the district orchestra, it provides many students, like freshman Ellen Hanrath, an opportunity to be a part of a more advanced orchestra than what they typically get to experience. When in the district orchestra, students work with new music, a new director, with students from different schools they will not usually have the opportunity to play with.

    “I know it’ll be like a long day of just a lot of rehearsals. But it’ll be fun to be in a higher level orchestra and kind of learn what that’s like,” freshman Ellen Hanrath said.

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