SMNW orchestra performs at SM District Orchestra Festival

Orchestra director Jeffrey Bishop took a deep breath before giving the first downbeat of Bela Bartok’s Rumanian Folk Dances for orchestra. The first movement began with lower strings, then first violins joined in on the melody. This was the second piece the orchestra performed and the last piece of the 2011 SM District Orchestra Festival.

The symphony orchestra, along with the other four SM high schools’ orchestras or symphony orchestras performed in the festival April 5 in the SM West auditorium.

The festival served as a workshop for the five SM orchestras prior to state contest. Each orchestra played two pieces in a concert setting on April 5. Guest clinician, Dr. William LaRue Jones then visited each of the schools in the following week to work with the students on the pieces. Jones, a renowned symphonic conductor, gave helpful tips and pointers. Jones annually, attends an average of 100 concerts performed by student groups and professional ensembles across North America, Latin America, Europe and Asia. He has conducted professional groups including the Penang Symphony in Malaysia, the Antofagasta Symphony in Chile, the Orchestra of Lucerne in Switzerland and 90 all-state orchestras with additional festivals and clinics in all 50 states and the Canadian provinces.

Jeffrey Bishop directed the NW orchestra in Allegretto from Congratulations Minuet, Op. 142 by Beethoven and Rumanian Folk Dances by Bela Bartok. They also attended state contest April 13.

J.D. Allen