Photo by M. Janeski
Across the Upstate, strings musicians middle school-aged and above participated in the Region Orchestra event, which was hosted at Spartanburg High this year.
Mary Jordan Janeski (10) is a violinist who recently played in Region Orchestra.
“Region is basically a weekend with other schools from the Spartanburg area where you learn and perform several pieces together. It’s overall a super-fun experience where you can meet new people and improve your playing skills,” Janeski said.
To join this program is no easy task. One has to practice excerpts months in advance and audition live in front of judges, though this year, the musicians were required to send digital auditions instead due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Being chosen for this program is characterized as a challenge. Once chosen, students are then capable of auditioning for All-State Orchestra, which is an even more competitive and difficult selective organization. The All-State event is expected to be hosted at Spartanburg High School in Feb. 2022.
Region Orchestra is a well-known event among anyone in the orchestra program. What set this year apart from others was that rather than having to travel to another school, students had the advantage of staying at their own school. Certain rooms, such as the orchestra room, were utilized for sectionals, or group practice for those who play the same instrument. The Fine Arts Center was the location of the final performance.
Jeff Kuntz, orchestra director and conductor, was proud of being able to host and show off the school at this event.
“Hosting an event as large as Region Orchestra was something that SHS orchestra teachers had never been able to do on their own campus until now. Many years ago, previous SHS orchestra teachers hosted Region, but it wasn’t quite the same, with the concerts and some of the rehearsals at Converse College. Having a new SHS with such magnificent facilities was both a pleasure and an honor in serving as a host,” Kuntz said.
The following students were accepted into one of the two orchestras that performed based on grade level:
Daniel Lin (9)- Violin, ninth chair
Brady Johnson (9)- Violin, fourteenth chair
Foster Neely (9)- Viola, fourth chair
Ezra Anderson (10)- Violin, third chair
Mary Jordan Janeski (10), Viola, fifth chair
John Kuntz (10), Cello, first chair
Caroline Manke (11), Viola, first chair
Nadia Ferguson (12), Violin, third chair
Peyton Ravan (12), Violin, nineteenth chair