Many Staples students remember their music career as a brief period of melodious screeching on a tiny violin in the 4th grade. But, for almost 90 students in the Symphonic orchestra, music is significant.
“It has affected everything and anything in my life,” cellist Samantha Chachra ’16 said.
The Symphonic Orchestra is the highest level of Staples orchestral music. Juniors and seniors who have taken Freshman and Sophomore Orchestra are automatically invited to join Symphonic. Many talented musicians, such as concertmaster Katie Zhou ’14, progress through the orchestras to ultimately reach Symphonic.
However, there is also a select group of underclassmen who audition to become a part of Symphonic.
“I decided to audition for Symphonic because I wanted to play more advanced music during school,” Jessica Chachra ’16, who has been playing the viola since fourth grade, said. Samantha Chachra explained that the music the Symphonic Orchestra plays is the same level of music a professional symphony plays.
Many of the underclassman musicians in Symphonic, like Ellie Shapiro ’17 who has been playing the violin for nine years, were introduced to music before the school provided the opportunity to play string instruments in fourth grade.
“I can barely remember a time in my life when I wasn’t taking a music class,” Jessica Chachra said. Samantha Chachra added that she was “literally forced” to play the piano in kindergarten and later found her love for music after starting to play the cello.
These underclassmen who have showcased excellence in music have learned far more than how to play a pretty tune in their lengthy music careers. “By working at something every day, setting goals for myself and seeing the improvement, I’m overall much more concentrated in school and at home,” Shapiro said. She added that she always has a scheduled performance because she finds that she works more efficiently with an ultimate goal in mind.
“Music has helped me focus and I think it helped develop my brain to think in a logical fashion, along with math and memory skills,” Jessica Chachra said.
Since music has been a part of their lives for so long, many of these advanced students plan to pursue music in college, but others are undecided.
“I’m not sure what I want to do after high school, but I know either way, I will definitely include music in my life,” Shapiro said.