Awesome Time in St. Louis

Last Thursday, the Orchestra students (along with the Band) traveled to St. Louis, Missouri for a three day trip of performances and just having a lot of fun. It was a jam-packed three days of stretching our musical minds, working together, and making new friends.

Clinic with Dr. Scott at ISU. He’s probably telling us about how to use the bow to create dynamics.

We started our trip off at Illinois State University in a clinic with Dr. Glenn Scott. The students were immediately engaged as he quickly learned many of the students’ names and throughout the clinic he called many of them by name. We mostly worked on creating dynamic contrast by playing loud passages with the frog of the bow and soft passages with the tip of the bow. Dr. Scott had high expectations of the students and they stepped up!

Gearing up to play some laser tag!

After the clinic, we visited the City Museum in St. Louis and kids crawled, climbed, and inched their way through various mazes throughout the entire museum. If that wasn’t enough action, we then went to play laser tag where we learned that violas are the best shots. That night we made it to the hotel for some well deserved down time, but amazingly, there were a few who still had some energy to burn and spent some time jumping in the pool. It was exhausting just watching them!

Mr. Broach, Madeleine (aka Evelyn), & Jora (aka Hora) under the Gateway Arch.

On Friday, we traveled to the Gateway Arch where from atop the arch, we got to see the city of St. Louis, the Mississippi River, and not quite our houses in Illinois. Our time spent at the top was cut short as they had some maintenance to do. Oh well. Check out this picture that hints at the experience.

A view of St. Louis from atop the Gatway Arch (in case you missed it).

Revering a guitar at the Hard Rock Cafe.

It then rained. A lot. So we went to the Hard Rock Cafe early and had a scavenger hunt. We learned that the cover charge for Queen’s first American show was $7.50. Nowadays shows cost much higher!

After dinner we performed at the Music in the Parks Competition where we earned an “Excellent” rating. The judges wrote:

Judge #1. Intonation, ensemble & individual – need to really work on consistency of intonation & to a bit lesser extent articulation. Use eyes & ears – match pitch, articulation, style. Get all attacks & releases exactly together.

Judge #2. Intonation. Bow good. Bow technique good. Some pitch problems mentioned in recording. There is good teaching and learning going on here. Keep up the good work! Thanks for playing.

Kids are pumped after our performance!

Out of ten points, our ratings were:

  • Tone Quality: 8.25 (8.25 + 8.25)
  • Intonation: 8.5 (8.25 + 8.75)
  • Technique: 8.75 (8.75 + 8.75)
  • Rhythm: 9 (9 + 9)
  • Musicality: 8.5 (8.5 + 8.5)

It seems we need to work on our Tone Quality and Intonation.

On Saturday, it was raining again. So instead of getting wet for a second day in a row, we went to the St. Louis Science Museum – which was indoors! In spite of the weather during the trip it was incredible to see students not only flexible as we improvised with the schedule, but keeping a positive outlook and having a great time with each other!

Overall, it was a great trip and kudos to the orchestra students!

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