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Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

The student news site of Westwood High School.

Westwood Horizon

Orchestra Amplifies Autumn Ambience at Fall Concert

Chloe Oakley
Conducting Symphony Orchestra, director Joshua Thompson facilitates the performance of Nino Rota’s Concerto for Strings. Practicing from August to October, orchestras spotlighted a diverse variety of pieces at their annual Fall Concert.

Jack Jarret’s composition Meditation, performed by Philharmonic 4th Block Orchestra, begins with a heartbreaking wistfulness, imbuing unique harmonies and emotion. 

But for Orchestra, the year begins enthusiastically, as all orchestra blocks converge to display an array of musical textures during their annual Fall Concert at the Raymond Hartfield Performing Arts Center (PAC) on Wednesday, Oct. 11.

Beginning the evening, the Camerata Orchestra performed Northern Lights by Alan Lee Silva before plunging into Centrifuge by Kathryn Griesinger, curating an atmosphere of auditory suspense. The second to take to the stage, Concert Orchestra began their segment with an English Folk Song, The Blacksmith.

“My favorite piece was Brahms’s Waltz [because] it is a very lyrical piece with a lot of components that make it overall really classical and beautiful,” Concert violinist Audrey Lee ‘25 said. “[The pieces] were unique in their melodies, and much emotion was a part of each.”

With attention to detail, the Philharmonic 2nd Block Orchestra followed, showcasing distinct themes in each number. Arranged by Franz Joseph Haydn, The Bird reverberated brightly through the audience prior to Cradle Song, a lush, ascending lullaby. The success of all performances resulted from the combined diligence of members.

“We had a lot of after school rehearsals and during class, and we also practiced at home [to prepare for the concert],” Philharmonic 2nd Block Cellist Remy Simpson ‘25 said.

Captivating the audience, Philharmonic 4th Block Orchestra began their performance with a frantic, layered piece, Sinfonia VII, and ended with Strange Roumers, a complex, cinematic composition arranged by John Mackey. Percussion introduced a rhythmic motif, amplifying the string’s heightening energy and restoring the bold flares accentuated earlier in the evening. 

“John Mackey’s Strange Rumors was a very, very moving and rhythmic piece,” Orchestra Junior Vice President Nirvik Pande ‘25 said. “We’ve prepared [for the concert] since the end of August up to the concert. It’s a lot of work from ours and the directors’ part.”

Concluding the evening, Symphony Orchestra exhibited musical precision and program caliber on an auditory scale. Playing a diverse repertoire, Symphony dazzled the audience with a String Quartet arranged by Dmitri Shostakovich, Richard Wagner’s Ein Albumblatt, and finally, Concerto for Strings: Mvt. IV Finale arranged by Nino Rota, the composer of The Godfather.

“Shostakovich was very jarring and technically challenging which took a lot of preparation during our rehearsals,” Symphony violinist Sanjana Alluri ‘25 said, “but the outcome was pretty spectacular, so I’m very happy with how it went.”

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About the Contributor
Chloe Oakley
Chloe Oakley, Campus News Editor
Class of 2025 Looking forward to another year as a part of Student Press, I am especially excited to be serving as Campus News Editor for an organization I so cherish. Beyond an obvious love for writing, my primary interests include literature and music. In the rare moments you find me outside the newsroom, I am likely hiking, fulfilling my love for coffee, or escaping into a thriller novel.

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