Orchestra Playing at Homecoming parade

Alexis Potter

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 For the first time in school history, in Sept. 12 during conference, the orchestra was strolling down the street playing a fiddle tune. The orchestra normally sits and performs to an audience, but does not perform physically. 

It was a moment in which the orchestra students broke away from their comfort zone and performed like street performers. They were wearing red bandannas on wrist to represent a sort of southern style.They smile as they were playing the music. No music sheet was in sight, the orchestra students need to rely on their memory. The sheet music helps the player know what note to play next, how the note will be played, and what style the song is (i.e. classical, medieval, folk). Even the orchestra teacher Valerie Dopp was excited about being a part of the homecoming parade. 

“Hopefully, the kids [had] a good time and that’s the whole joy of it,” Dopp said, “so that we could enjoy playing it together and smile and perform and just have a blast.” 

Freshman viola player Gina Toscano said she was fortunate to experience the parade. She said it was different and interesting. 

“Normally you don’t see orchestra marching in parades,” Toscano said, “I feel like it was different, but it was also interesting to try something new in orchestra.”  

Most of the orchestra’s events involve an entire class, either, symphonic and concert, Christmas caroling, or symphonic and chamber, going to Disneyland. Nevertheless, Dopp, gave all of her students the option to be part of the parade or not. Approximately, 50 orchestra students participated in the parade. 

“I gave the kids an option if they wanted to do it,”  Dopp said. 

What made this event even more unique and fun was the music that Dopp choice. “Liberty” is an old-timing fiddle tune that Dopp’s family would play while she was growing up.

There were some difficulties performing at the parade in which it includes the two larger instruments, cello and bass: the bass is very large and heavy instrument that weighs about 25 pounds, and the cello is also large and weighs about seven pounds. Although, bass is a heavy large instrument, the players carried them around and played pizzicato (plucking their strings). Some cellos had to wear guitar straps that went over their backs. Other cellos were to carry their instrument and pizzicato as well. 

No matter the outcome, the orchestra club was still able to perform at the homecoming parade. They were able to show an audience that the orchestra people don’t only sit on chairs and perform classical music. But they can entertain people with a tune that gives viewers a vibe to dance.