A student spotlight on KES/KEHS Symphony Orchestra

We recently sat down with Emmy, the Symphony Orchestra leader, to talk about her experience of being a member of the KES/KEHS Symphony Orchestra.

What is your favourite thing about playing in the KES/KEHS Symphony Orchestra? 

Playing as an ensemble with so many people playing different parts. Our after-school rehearsals with the woodwind, brass and percussion are really exciting, especially hearing the amazing soloists in The Rite of Spring. 

What are some of your favourite memories of playing in the KES/KEHS Symphony Orchestra? 

The most memorable is playing The Firebird and accompanying Lauren Zhang for Beethoven’s ‘Emperor’ Concerto all in my first year of Symphony Orchestra. It was quite overwhelming for my younger self, but I think playing challenging pieces and being able to perform them at an excellent standard is what the orchestra does best. 

What is it like to be playing The Rite of Spring in the KES/KEHS Symphony Orchestra? 

I must admit I was somewhat cautious in the summer following Dr Leigh’s announcement. Any concerns soon disappeared: The Rite of Spring is iconic, and it is particularly thrilling to be playing in an orchestra of brilliant young musicians. 

It’s truly incredible how quickly we’ve picked up the piece, although I’m sure we’ll do plenty of work perfecting it at Cleobury. 

What are some of the challenges of playing this piece? 

Counting the bars: the time signature changes every other bar in the last section, and you need to concentrate just to make sure you’re in the right place at the right time. A lot of the rests are general pauses too, so I’m always careful to not come in wrong with a loud accented chord! 

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