Orchestra Takes on Rehearsal


Photo courtesy of Tessa Bantowsky

Taking on rehearsal, Nick Selleck is practicing one of his many songs to prepare for a festival on March 9.

Silver Creek High School’s audition-only orchestra is using every minute of their rehearsals to prepare for upcoming events and concerts. Putting in impressive amounts of hard work, their dedication is shown through every student making for engaging and interactive rehearsals.

With upcoming events such as Colorado American String Teachers Association (ASTA), the conductor, Courtney Dowling, spends rehearsal focusing more on community since the orchestra finally feels confident on the basic aspects of the songs. Dowling explains the group’s “togetherness” is due to bow placement, breathing and matching the energy between the different sections. Participating in festivals when she was in high school, Dowling understands the importance of learning from others and playing for the love of music and not because you have to.

“[Festivals] are a great opportunity to get others to hear our work,” Dowling says. “I want us to have fun on stage.”

Although Dowling is constantly preparing the musicians for future orchestra events, the stakes are extra high for the students and the conductor as they prepare for one of the many festivals of the year.

ASTA is a yearly festival that allows state orchestras to show off their unique playing styles and to have a national-level clinical from one of the many judges who attend. With 60-70 orchestras at this event, perfecting their songs during rehearsal was Silver Creek Orchestra’s top priority.

On March 9, Silver Creek High School’s audition-only orchestra traveled to Fort Collins, Colorado to show off the pieces they have been working on all year.

Leigh Baker, a violinist in Orchestra, has been preparing for ASTA.

Baker is excited to “make the orchestra community better.” She plans to “try to be positive even when I’m not feeling it” for a better rehearsal.

With positivity being a top priority throughout the orchestra, it’s clear that these students value their time in rehearsal and as a part of this community. Focusing less about the strict techniques and learning how to flow through songs with correct rhythms and strong breath work, Silver Creek’s Orchestra has become a staple in the performing arts community.

Along with a strong sense of community, each student has strong goals set to promote their styles and learning abilities. Senior Ayla Samatas expresses her excitement and motivation to use her personal time to practice at home and correct individual mistakes.

“Digging into certain parts” and “practicing more often” makes her more excited to work with people and releases the stress and nerves she may have from performing, Samatas said.

With each performer having confidence in their playing abilities, Dowling is able to focus practice towards the importance of enjoying the music and being together as a team.

“Togetherness” allows the orchestra to sound connected and shows their love for music as well. The students have the motivation to practice and focus on positivity in this community.

This team work and dedication is shown greatly in their performances. With their love for orchestra, they make it easy to be excited for events and represent Silver Creek’s performing arts in an energetic and positive way.