Orchestra students prepare for Regional performance


James Pham

Seniors Joseph Weidemann and Ethan Otte perform at school in September with some classmates. Weidemann is part of the Regional Orchestra performing tonight.

Jacob Valcarce, News Editor

Twenty-seven members of the orchestra auditioned for the Region Orchestra, with 10 advancing to represent the school in the Region Philharmonic and Symphony orchestras. 

In the philharmonic orchestra, students Joe Weidemann, Kim Kirsh, Cece Sullivan, Vivian Garcia, Kayley Warr, and Ian Ferguson made it. In the Symphony orchestra, Ty Bell, Uriel Torres, Lucas Pagano, and Cameron Krewer made it.

“They get music in May, and they spend all summer working on it,” orchestra director Evan Farmer said. “Then there’s a big audition with probably close to 500 people auditioning, and then they select about 140 total kids from the 500.”

Those 140 students then got new music and went through another round of auditions to get their chair placement.

Friday started the “big weekend” for the orchestras. Clinicians from all over the country came and rehearsed that night and all day the next day with the students. At the end, they will have a concert.

“For me, the cool thing is getting to see the kids play music that is a little bit more challenging than what we can do, like in a normal orchestra here at KPark,” Farmer said. “While I love all of my kids in the program, obviously not all of them made it to that level. So you’re talking about kids who are diehard orchestra kids, who music is all they do. They get a chance to kind of be around other students who are like minded and get to play with conductors who are way better than me.”

Senior Uriel Torres made first chair viola in the symphony orchestra. After region, Torres plans on preparing for UIL. 

“I want to choose a more difficult song since I got first chair here,” Torres said. 

Sophomore Lucas Pagano made seventh chair viola in the symphony orchestra. Pagano was exhilarated when he found out he made the higher of the two orchestras.

“It’s very difficult because it’s for districts,” Pagano said. “When you’re there and you’re there auditioning, it’s very nerve wracking because you’re in this cafeteria that’s jam packed of people who all know how to play the music really well. And so, you know, it’s not easy and it’s going to be all over difficult to get in.”

In August, students are given etudes to work on for this. At the audition, the participants have to play excerpts from the two etudes. That determines their spot in the ensembles.

While they can ask Farmer for help on some things, the kids are on their own for this. Whoever made it, did it almost entirely by themselves.

“This is where I let them see what they can do to push themselves,” Farmer said. “I help them get ready for the audition in September, and we bring in clinicians and work with them. Once they make it, I pull my hands off and I just want to see how much they push themselves.”

The symphony orchestra will be playing very difficult pieces. The Houston Symphony plays music at the level that they play at, so it’s very difficult, and Farmer is very proud to see all of the students make it.

“This is all them,” Farmer said. “I gave them the music and said, ‘If you have any questions, let me know,’ but it’s 100% them.”