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anyone else HATE school orchestra?


Alyosha

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I can't stand my school's orchestra. No one can play, no one practices, no one concentrates and all we play are the kind of arrangements that the composer concerned would not recognize as his work.

Read on: http://fingerboard.maestronet.com/ubb/Foru...TML/001177.html http://fingerboard.maestronet.com/ubb/Foru...TML/009086.html

However, there's the opposite extreme in my youth orchestra, where the discipline resembles the military and the entire orchestra is composed (no pun intended) of privates with one commanding general. It's not very fun, but which group sounds better?

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I love school orchestra, the teacher is really cool, and my best friend is my standpartner. I have met so many friends from orchestra and for that I am extremly happy. However, there is a group very snobby girls there, who hate me because I am concert master, apparently "teacher's pet", but whatever to them. Also very few people practice, which I hate because if you aren't gonna practice don't be in orchestra. Oh well I guess it will always be that way.

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It's been a long time since I played in a school orchestra but I remember having a bad attitude towards the conductor.

He was a trombonist so I had no respect for him, most of the kids didn't take private lessons so they couldn't play very well. I was only thinking about myself when I kept complaining that he didn't take the pieces fast enough. He finally had a talk with my private teacher to get me to lighten up. At that time I played with the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra which was very good and I really enjoyed that. I have to admit I was a snob about it with the other kids.

Now I play in professional orchestras and mostly enjoy it only recently our conductor has gotten a little nasty and scolds us like a junior high orchestra but that's another story.

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i just cannot stand my school orchestra and i don't know why i'm taking that class!!! the conductor can't tell a good player from a bad player...the concertmaster changes every single concert...and the pieces we're playing are way too hard! (imagine a HIGH SCHOOL ORCHESTRA performing Beethoven's 5th, Dvorak's New World... asthanos.gif )

"Alyosha"

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My school's played both the New World and Beethoven's fifth- in mutilated arrangements. I think I'd prefer to have a learning experience playing good music badly than playing stuff that we can play more or less competently but makes me want to scream (how can someone do this to such music?).

We have done Peter and the Wolf and the Symphonic Dances from West Side Story in the original form and we're doing the Bach E Major concerto this spring. But we can only do those pieces with a very select group of people, so select that we are missing some vital instruments.

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my school's orchestra did the bach emajor concerto for open house this year...ALL the top orchestra's violinists learned the solo part...the lower orchestras played the orchestral violin parts.

we played piazzolas 4 for tango and vivaldi's gloria pretty well this year...i'm not disappointed by how we play or what we play, i just wish people would practice it so we could play more!

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This whole topic makes me very sad. My school doesn't have an orchestra. I'm only in my 2nd or 3rd year of playing the cello, and I'm a senior in high school. I'm so bitter about that. I can develop the drive to become better, and the willingness to work myself hard enough to become better, but I can never gain the years of experience and development that other people who had the advantage of school orchestra have. That will always be against me. Even if you hate your conductor, or get frustrated at your fellow orchestra members, remember that it IS a privilege, something that not everyone has the ability to experience, and something that shouldn't be taken for granted.

quote:

Originally posted by Pegasus:

It's been a long time since I played in a school orchestra but I remember having a bad attitude towards the conductor.

He was a trombonist so I had no respect for him,

Okay, I just had to comment on this. Not to offend anyone, but the term "music snob" immediately comes to mind. So what if he didn't play a string instrument? Does that mean that he is any less qualified to teach music? Wind players, though in my opinion play easier instruments than string players do, still work just as hard to become accomplished musicians. If a teacher has a passion to teach music, a love for training up young people to have that same passion for music, who cares what instrument he plays?! Even if he is a trombonist, to get a music degree at pretty much any University you DO have to take string class, just to have a general knowledge of all the instruments. Don't forget, orchestras have a brass section too. It's not all about the string section.

Aaron

(and people think I'm a snob because I'm in choir. Sheesh)

[This message has been edited by Aaron (edited 01-01-2002).]

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I agree with you and even said in my post that I was a snob. At the time(a long long time ago) I was in junior high and that's the way I felt. Of course I have met some fine musicians who play trombone since then.

I think teaching junior high orchestra or band is an extremely challenging job and I have a lot of respect for anyone who can do it well.

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I stick my violin students in my college community orchestra.

There, they get schooled in how to play real orchestral arrangements along with very competent adults under a pro-level conductor.

Some of my current students dig being in the school orchestra for the ego boost it gives them - which is exactly why I stick them in that college orchestra.

In trying to find the notes on the written page, one finds HIMSELF.

Aaron, you should look at joining the local orchestras in your immediate vicinity.

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It is unfortunate if your HS orchestra is not a positive experience. As many of you realize, it is a time in your life that will not come again.

Certainly such an orchestra can be well led by a person that does not play or understand a bowed string instrument, but when it it is, the string players must be wary of certain advice (either in words or by conducting technique) from the conductor. For example, a conductor with wind experience will tend to try to get you to "blow harder" (read that as "bow harder") - and this can ruin your technique for a lifetime (or until you realize what has happened - or you are still the student of a private teacher who straightens you out).

Some community or community/college colleges will bar HS-age students unless there is some agreement with the HS. For example - sometimes students must be a member of the HS orchestra to be allowed to play with the college. The last (isolated) town I lived in was fortunate to have very fine HS orchestral leaders for many years - with cello and then one with violin experience - both of very high standards. The HS orchesra went to competitions in other continents and won prizes - not something the community/college orchestra could have done. The community/college orchestra ws fortunate to have the better HS string players join it - and form the core of youth soloists for one of its concerts (unless, of course, someone even younger won the audition - which did happen at times).

Larger communities often have youth orchestras that are very well led - perhaps if such is not immediately nearby, some carpool arrangement can be made.

Andy

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urrgh ... my high school orchestra is relatively sad. This is my third year being concertmaster and, try though the energetic conductor might, she cannot get these kids to pick up their instruments outside of our once-a-week rehearsals. She also cannot really conduct. She usually looks like she's trying to fly ... or is stirring a cauldron of some kind ... sigh ...

I've come to regard the orchestra as a quasi-torture chamber ... but my youth orchestra is the light of my life. Even the most ardent lovers of music cannot abide, as MB pointed out, those awful arrangements and kids who can't tune their own instruments. It takes innnnnfinite patience. good luck to everyone.

peace

ellen

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maybe i hate my HS orch because i had such a great time in middle school orhestra...and i've only heard positive comments about the conductor they had before i came to HS....

well...i know this orchestra teacher, he teaches elemetary school and you can see, he HATES kids! but he's always there at parents' back-to-school-nights, performing in the front lobby, and he jumps to any opportunities where HE can play...(has he ever thought about making the KIDS perform at those events?)

"Alyosha" astrosmiley2.gif

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My small private school doesn't have an orchestra but I love playing flute in the school band and violin once a year for pit orchestra. I also play in an outside youth orchestra.

I find that my outside orchestra is the most challenging and that the conductor is the most demanding.But I have a much better relationship with my school band director and she encourages me more than almost anyone else in my violin studies. probably the most fun I've ever had in an ensemble is pit orchestra which, because of not having an orchestra program, I was allowed to play in before high school. because all of the students playing in the pit are fairly deticated and all practice our director is more fun than in regular band and is like one of the students.

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I'm so sorry Pegasus. I didn't read your post carefully enough. I apologize.

I really didn't mean to be offensive, and I'm glad that you didn't take it offensively. I always tell my friends Abby and Emily that they are the biggest choir snobs, and they are. They admit it too.

Even though my school doesn't have an orchestra, just this year I've had the oppurtunity to join a youth orchestra. I was worried at first because one of the requirements is to be involved in your school orchestra. I told them that my school doesn't have an orchestra, and they basicly said "well, we can't require you to be a part of a program that doesn't exist, now can we?" So, I'm sitting chair 7 out of 9 in the B Level Orchestra, but that's okay. I knew that there was no chance of making the top orchestra. They are wonderful!!

Aaron

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quote:

Originally posted by Alyosha:

the pieces we're playing are way too hard! (imagine a HIGH SCHOOL ORCHESTRA performing Beethoven's 5th, Dvorak's New World...

That doesn't sound particularly out of range for a high school orchestra. (Yes, I'm speaking of an individual high school, not of a youth symphony, where such works would be easily within range of the players' abilities.)

Of course, the quality of players varies a lot from high school to high school. I'd say I had a medium-to-fairly-good high school orchestra. We did real repertoire -- Beethoven 5th and the Dvorak "New World", yes, and Brahms 1st, the Mozart Requiem, Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue" and other "big works". And it even sounded pretty good.

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quote:

Originally posted by Alyosha:

imagine a HIGH SCHOOL ORCHESTRA performing Beethoven's 5th, Dvorak's New World...
asthanos.gif
)

As lwl said these pieces aren't really that horrible for a high school orchestra. Given some practice time it could probably be accomplished. I think also the conductor may be using these as motivational pieces for the people. You know a way of saying "hey you can't play this piece maybe you should practice." A lot of kids are up for a challenge they just have to be REALLY challenged. And if you guys can't play it as an orchestra in a whole that doesn't matter really. As long as it got some kids practicing because maybe it will get them in the habit of it, so when you do play pieces in the orchestra's range they will practice those.

Last yea we played schubert's Gloria for a Christmas concert along with the choir and a couple band members. This was the hardest piece we had played and although the first violin part was written an octave down for everyone except me it was still a rather difficult piece for everyone in my orchestra, When the people in orchestra actually figured that they needed to practice at home so they wouldn't embarrassed at the concert they did, and they practiced hard. Granted it wasn't a perfect performance it was good, and the conductor was just so proud that he actually got the kids to practice.

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