Band and Orchestra

By Andrew Cullen ’14 | Staff Writer

South’s orchestra will be holding the annual String Extravaganza today at 7 p.m. in the Main Gym, Orchestra Director James Gross said.

String Extravaganza is an orchestra concert where every orchestra student in the school district, grades 5-12, will be performing, Gross said. The final performance will be South’s orchestra.

“We are an example for them, in terms of how far students get in terms of level,” said Chris Morris ‘14, a violin player. “it is my last year playing in this concert, and I love playing in the orchestra.”

It will not be a completely holiday-themed concert, but a few holiday songs will be played, Gross said. pieces will include Greensleeves and Carol of the Bells.

Connor Reinman ‘14, a bass player in the orchestra, said he is looking forward to the concert. He said he always enjoys playing the music, and that is is good to see young students interested in orchestral music.

“My favorite part is getting to see all the young people that are involved in the orchestra program,” said Reinman. “They are the ones that are going to make up the high school orchestra. It’s nice to see them interested in music from such a young age.”

The main purpose of the concert is to show the breadth of the orchestral program in the school district, Gross said. Parents will be able to see all the stages of the program from elementary to high school.

“We look forward to combining with North High School,” said Gross. “It will be an orchestra of over 150 students, which is a massive group. It’s fun for the kids.”

[info]The concert will be held in the main gym this Thursday, tickets are sold at the door for $1, according to the Grosse Pointe South website.[/info]

By Isabella Yenchick ’15 | Staff Writer

The  South band will be holding their annual Band-O-Rama today, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m. in the Main Gym. The bands from Pierce and Brownell middle schools, as well as the 5th graders from elementary schools,  will be debuting their acts for the first time. Although it costs just $1 to attend this event, donations of any kind will be accepted.

Christopher Takis, director of bands, explains that this concert is especially unique because the idea of Band-O-Rama is to primarily showcase the elementary and middle school kids, showing them what band is like at the next level. Takis also explains that the high school and middle school kids involved in the show have been practicing for a couple months to perfect their songs.

“The younger kids will get to experience the concert and symphony band, the jazz band, and the marching band at this event,” said Takis.

“I’ve been practicing at home for two hours each night, attempting to perfect the trumpet parts of the songs,” said Matt Murray ‘15 who has been a member of band since the 6th grade.

Murray said that this is going to be an entertaining show, with a variety of different collaborations and ensembles involved in just one showcase.

“People that come should expect really fun music that they will recognize, like music from the ‘Dark Knight’,” said Rachel Jolley ‘15, a band member.

All South students and families should come and support their fellow classmates in the school systems bands.

By Carly Walkowiak ’14 | Staff Writer

South’s band and orchestra took their talent to Fullerton, California Wednesday, April 17 for an annual competition.

The students will be competing in, Heritage Festival of Music, against 20 other schools, Orchestra Director James Gross said.  They have competed for this competition previously in New York and London, but this will be the first time they go to California.

The orchestra has been preparing for their big debut since February with weekly practices, violinist Kimberly Barbour ’14 said.

“I’m so excited to be in the warm for once,” said Barbour. “This is also the longest I’ve traveled for orchestra.”

Gross has been with the South orchestra for 10 years, and this is Christopher Takis first year with the band.

“We’ve been working a lot after school and looking forward to the competition,” said flute player Claire Heubner ‘14.

However, this is not the only competition in which the band and orchestra are participants.    They competed in early March in a competition known as Michigan School Band & Orchestra Association, a band and orchestra festival.

“It’s going to be a lot of fun to hang out with the band kids,” said Barbour.

Since the only day for the competition is Friday April 19, the band and orchestra will be partaking in other activities such as visiting Santa Monica Pier, watching a Grease production, going to the Los Angeles  philharmonic, a Detroit Tigers v Anaheim Angels baseball game and Disney Land, Gross said.

“I know they will play at their very best abilities and do excellent,” said Gross.