The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

The Prowler

The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

The Prowler

The Student News Site of Bridgewater-Raritan High School

The Prowler

Orchestras had outstanding performances at the Festival of the Arts

Students of the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District’s orchestras were thrilled to play in the annual  Festival of the Arts held in Bridgewater-Raritan High School’s Vaughn Stapleton Gymnasium on March 20.

Students from all over the district, grades six and up, each played one song after having it refined at every rehearsal. The Festival  of the Arts is a testament to the musical experience students gain throughout their school years. 

The festival was introduced with a speech by the district’s Supervisor of Performing Arts, Matthew McCarthy.

“All instruments are great, but string instruments have a versatility that I think goes above and beyond,” he said.

The festival commenced with the Bridgewater-Raritan High School Symphony Orchestra playing the national anthem, “Star-Spangled Banner.”

The journey of a musician in the orchestra starts in the intermediate schools, at either Eisenhower Intermediate School or Hillside Intermediate School. Hillside Intermediate School took the spotlight first playing “Impulse” by Brian Balmages, conducted by Director Thomas Lewis. Eisenhower Intermediate School then played “Clog Dance” by Elliot Delborgo conducted by Director Lisa Gaudet.

After their performance, the intermediate schools passed the baton to the orchestras at Bridgewater-Raritan Middle School. As the students gained more experience with their instruments, they continued to play pieces of increased difficulty. 

The audience stayed engaged in the performance as the middle school’s seventh grade orchestra excelled in performing their piece “Brandenburg Concerto No. 3, Movement 1” by J. S. Bach and conducted by Director Emma Piedilato. The middle school’s eighth grade orchestra, conducted by Director Catherine Butler, continued the festival with the piece “Boreas” by Todd Parrish.

The middle school has a separate orchestra for students who are especially successful as string musicians. This ensemble includes both seventh and eighth graders who chose to audition to join the group. This advanced group is known as the Chamber Orchestra. This group proudly performed “The Mandalorian” by Ludwig Goransson.

The third leap through the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District’s music program is to play in the high school’s orchestras. The ninth grade orchestra played “American Sketches” by Joshua Reznicow, conducted by Ms. Hsiao-yu Lin Griggs. Ms. Griggs serves as the conductor for all three groups in the high school’s orchestra program. Following the ninth grade orchestra, the Concert Orchestra played “Celtic Canon” by Johann Pachelbel.

As the last stop on the journey of the high school’s music program, the Symphony Orchestra is composed of the most skilled high school musicians in the district. Similar to the Chamber Orchestra, the Symphony Orchestra is also a select group requiring auditions. The group performed the final piece of the festival: “Harry Potter Symphonic Suite” by John Williams.

As the final notes echoed through the high school gymnasium, the Festival of the Arts concluded, leaving a harmonious resonance of musical achievement in the hearts of performers and audience alike.

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