It is obvious to anyone who has been to any sort of band, orchestra, drama, or choir performance at Central High School that the fine arts students of the school are extremely dedicated. Students who are involved have to spend a lot of time practicing in and out of school for the performances and events they participate in.
There are 13 students who are especially dedicated. These students play in both the Central High School Orchestra and the Black Hills Symphony. These students have to be driven, talented, and willing to put in a lot of work. They have to be willing to put in enough effort to keep up with school, both orchestras, jobs, and any other social commitments they might have. Additionally, unlike the adults in the symphony, students have to audition every year in order to remain a member.
It isn’t always easy to be a part of both orchestras. They have to learn music for both groups and make time to practice for both. Most students try to practice a few hours a week, which isn’t always easy when you have the schedule of a high school student. “The most difficult part [of being in the symphony] is finding the time to practice,” Kristina Giesey, a senior violinist, said. “Between school, work, and volunteering, I do not have much time.” “Another difficulty,” Patrick Knowles, another senior violinist, said, “is the technicality of the music.” The music they are playing is made for professionals, which means it is far more complicated than the average high school orchestra’s repertoire.
Although being a part of both the symphony and the high school orchestra can be stressful and daunting, the students definitely think it is worth it. Musically, the students gain experience, professionalism, and growth as musicians, but Knowles said, “What these organizations bring me is something more.” Being in the symphony brings these students “depth” to their life, Knowles explained. The students have gained leadership skills, friends, and experiences beyond what most students have. Being involved in the symphony and in the school music programs has been very meaningful to these students, and what they’ve gained is something that will stick with them for the rest of their lives.
The next symphony concert is this Saturday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m. at the Performing Arts Center of Rapid City (inside Rapid City High School).