Orchestra Students Dive Into New Year with Pool Party

By Catharine Li, Reporter

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  • Mr. Anderson dries off after a refreshing swim in the pool.

  • Kids are having fun squirting others with water guns, making them swim away.

  • Rohan Kartha '21 dives into the pool, excited to be at the pool party.

  • Ayame Castel '22 shows off her cool flip trick after diving of the diving board.

  • Amy Yamamoto '22 and Cassie Beauchamp '23 are looking at the variety of Kona Ice flavors to eat.

  • Amy Yamamoto '22 and Sudha Gattu '22 enjoy some chips after a nice dip in the pool.

  • Mr. Thompson stands in line for the free Kona Ice that he got for the party.

  • Anushka Solanki '20, Ming Ming He '20, and Sandra Cong '20 dip their feet into the pool and chat, enjoying the pool party.

  • Everyone is having fun enjoying all the various things to do at the pool: swim, go on the water slide, and dive.

  • Mr. Thompson and Mr. Anderson chat and have fun catching up on this break from orchestra.

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On Saturday, Aug. 24, orchestra students were invited to Anderson Mill Pool for an annual social event featuring games, music, food, and an opportunity to get acquainted with each other to kick off another great school year. 

“With[in] the orchestra program, we have 224 students. It’s a lot of people, but when they’re split among five different orchestras, a lot of them don’t get to interact outside of their orchestra block,” student officer Joyce Zhuang ‘20 said.  “All of these kids are all so involved in other activities, like DECA and they’re all in AP or IB classes, so they’re very involved outside of orchestra.” 

There was plenty of food and refreshments for everyone as students interacted, played frisbee games, and cooled off in the pool to end off an eventful first full week of school. 

“These events are really fun and they do a great job of motivating everyone to come and socialize,” Amy Yamamoto ‘22 said.  

New orchestra members have the opportunity to get an even better idea of the culture of this community, something that can only happen beyond school walls. 

“I want to expand my horizon, and it’s been great making friends,” Jinx Wiener ‘21 said.  “I haven’t been in [orchestra] for that long, but so far, everybody I have met is willing to start a conversation.” 

The students also took the opportunity to look ahead to their goals for the upcoming season, as the Westwood Symphony Orchestra plans to play at the prestigious Midwest Clinic in Chicago, one of only three high schools in the nation to be selected. 

“This year, we’re definitely working on making the community whole and also a more connected community,” Zhuang said. “We want to go to Chicago and be able to present ourselves as the Westwood Symphony Orchestra, instead of just the Westwood Orchestra and Westwood Band.” 

Students also took this time to interact with their directors, building essential connections outside of the rehearsal hall. 

“The students in Westwood orchestra are extremely talented, and it such a joy to come to work everyday and make great music,” Associate Director Justin Anderson said. “This community is very loving, and it’s great to see them all just come together.”