Fall String Orchestra Concert

Gabriella Mathiellis, Writer

On Wednesday October 19th, the Strongsville High School String Orchestra had their first concert of the school year. The annual potluck dinner concert is one enjoyed by all. The night began in the cafeteria with students and families gathering together to enjoy food before the evening entertainment. When asked why the potluck concert is so important to the orchestra community, Director Andrew Hire said, “It is a really good kickoff to the season. It brings all the orchestra families together and is a great bonding experience.” 

In addition to a great first concert, the Strongsville High School Orchestra program welcomes Brandon Tyson as assistant director. Mr. Tyson studied at the University of Akron, and is “excited to get the opportunity to work with the program and the students and to be a part of Strongsville’s wonderful orchestra program.” 

String orchestra delivered a spectacular performance and totally wowed the audience. The first piece they played was Jazz Rythmico by Kirt N. Moiser. The music was filled with many jazz harmonies and syncopated rhythms which challenged the orchestra to listen to each other and match the style of the piece. The next piece they played was Fantasia on Shenandoah by Robert Washburn, which was originally written for a college orchestra. The music was packed with many color chords and style changes, and it was beautifully performed by all sections of the group. String Orchestra closed with Zephyrus by Todd Parrish and stunned the audience. Zephyrus is a new piece of music released in 2020, and it was definitely not an easy piece of music to tackle.

Needless to say, with Director Andrew Hire and Assistant Director Brandon Tyson leading the group, String Orchestra was able to knock the piece out of the park. Zephyrus is filled with lots of different style changes which made it absolutely necessary for each member of the group to concentrate on Mr. Hire’s directing, as well as signals from each section leader. Mr. Tyson assisted with Zephyrus by, “helping teach the music with either individual instruction or sectional instruction where a small group of the orchestra would be pulled out and I would work with them.” 

The group had seven short weeks to prepare for their first concert. When factoring in the time it takes to gather one’s instrument, tune, and warm up- string orchestra really had to focus and make the most of their time in class as a group in order to succeed. They did well, and it showed to the audience. As expected, the crowd was packed with families awaiting the first round of music for the school year. Despite the large crowd, the orchestra did not let that affect how they performed their music. Director Andrew Hire commented, “when you have a group that is so well prepared, the energy and focus is going to be there.” Assistant Director Brandon Tyson also said, “I thought that the orchestra did very well for their first concert. The orchestra was watching and communicating musically on stage which is very important for a performance. A lot of the musical things worked on in the rehearsal were carried onto the stage and executed very well.” 

Overall, String Orchestra delivered a great first performance for the 2022-2023 school year, and we look forward to hearing them perform their next round of repertoire.