CA honor ensembles

Jonathan Kang, Staff Writer

Northwood instrumental music students performed in the All-State and All-Southern California honor groups, held online after a rigorous round of auditions.

Rehearsals for All-State were conducted on Jan. 23 and Feb. 13 through Zoom, with members playing individually for conductors. Junior Allison Lee played in the Symphonic Band and sophomore Shani Lin played in the String Orchestra among others.

One All-Southern rehearsal was conducted on March 13. Members from Northwood included but were not limited to sophomore Alex Park in the Wind Ensemble and sophomore Chris Song in the Symphony Orchestra. Since All-State auditions have always been held online, only All-Southern auditions were changed to ensure the safety of students.

“The audition process for All-Southern was drastically different from previous years because we submitted everything virtually instead of playing at a set venue,” Park said. “However, this change also gave me as many chances as I needed to succeed with my audition since I could select which recordings to submit, reflecting my full potential as a musician.”

During the rehearsals, some students played individually for the conductor and received feedback on their rhythm, intonation and dynamics. However, others submitted videos via Flipgrid of themselves playing their respective pieces for feedback from professional musicians.

“The first rehearsal was slow paced because it took a long time admitting everyone into the call, and when we tried to play unmuted, we realized it was unproductive because of the latency issues,” Lee said. “The next rehearsal was much better as we worked in breakout rooms with our own section and our conductor moved from room to room to give us feedback.”

After all rehearsals were completed, students submitted their final performance videos through a virtual system called My Virtual Arts, where the individual videos will be merged together to create a complete ensemble. By playing along with a specific click track that gave a clear and consistent tempo, students were able to play in-time together despite the virtual boundary.

The final recordings for each ensemble will be available in a few months once My Virtual Arts compiles the videos.

“By participating in the All-Southern honor group, I hope to learn more about playing at a higher level of musicianship,” Park said. “Of course, I also want to have a lot of fun making music with other talented musicians as well.”