Social action reaches out to orchestra in class project to assist marginalized groups


Emma Waller

Junior orchestra student Klarissa Lowrance performs at the orchestra concert on October 18.

Emily Humble, Web Editor

When the lights come up at a fine art event at K-Park, students, faculty, and family members turn up in the audience, ready to enjoy the performance. However, orchestra has traditionally drawn the smallest crowd in comparison to K-Park theatre, choir, band and dance, and is often considered the least recognized of all the fine arts programs.

I would say that orchestra is underappreciated,” said orchestra president Caroline Pagano. “All four of our orchestras have accomplished so much over the past few years under Mr. Taylor and most people don’t know about them.”

So this year, a group of students in James Russell’s social action class have been working to help boost attendance at orchestra’s  winter concert on Dec. 8. The social action students have created advertising and organized a jar guessing game to be held inside the concert, as well as  a party for the orchestra students. It is part of the class’s initiative to recognize and assist some of the marginalized groups within K-Park.

“What we learn in social action is all about the real world, and what we can do to solve issues, to make it a better place,” said senior Cameron Vidos, a member of the group of students assisting orchestra. “Because orchestra is always busy with rehearsal and everything, you know, even the president is not able to set up all these plans for everyone.”

Vidos was a member of the orchestra program for three years, before leaving at the end of last school year to join theater. It is clear that he still holds a deep appreciation for the art.

“It’s the fact that orchestra is more delicate, it’s more riveting,” said Vidos of how orchestra differs from K-Park’s other fine arts. “It’s more fancy, as I would say. The strings bring a lot of emotion to it, and you can feel it as they do it.”

Vidos believes that once students come out to an orchestra concert, they will develop the same sort of fascination.

Orchestra director Joshua Taylor is grateful for social action’s efforts. A group of social action students also helped orchestra out for last year’s winter concert, and both Taylor and the social action students hope that this year’s efforts will reach even higher.

It’s difficult for orchestra to be visible,” said Taylor. “We are an indoor activity with multiple concerts.  Every orchestra program in every school is in a similar situation. It’s not as easy for orchestra to be visible like it is for band or choir.”

As a former orchestra member, Vidos also knows how much it will mean to the orchestra students.

It would make the teacher and all the students feel very thankful, appreciated,” Vidos said.. “Because they feel that they’ve put a lot of work into it, and it’s more than just their parents and their family… who come and take their time to see this.”