Inside the Westlake Orchestra

What really happens in A102

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By Kenzie Nelson

Participating in an orchestra is no small task. It requires a strong sense of discipline and creativity. Today we go behind the scenes of what it’s like to be in the Westlake Orchestra.

As would be expected in something as structured as music, the orchestra itself is meticulously arranged, divided up into sections. Westlake’s orchestra deals primarily with the strings section of an orchestra, which is the biggest section even though there are only five instruments. “There’s first and second violins, violas, cellos, and basses.” Says Kylie Hunter, concertmaster of Westlake’s orchestra. “We divide them up into sections so they can focus on their specific parts. We want to be as organized as possible.” Each section also has a section leader, who is the best of the best in their section. They sit in the front chair of the section, lead sectionals, and get all of the solos during concerts.

Hunter also explains her role as concertmaster. “I lead over sectionals, as an extra source of leadership. It creates more unity. I’m also in charge of the first violins and I make sure our bows go in the same direction as we play. At concerts I play solos. It’s a stressful job, but so exciting.”

Orchestra is a tough, full time commitment, but it’s also one of the most rewarding. It tests your creativity, mental discipline, teamwork and patience. For those who choose to expand their talents by joining, they’ll find a hard working community that will help them every step of the way. “This year we have such a dedicated and diligent group of kids.” Hunter says proudly. “I have a feeling we’re going to do incredibly well this year!”