The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 6, 2008


CCHS Orchestra succeeds at Disney Festival

Under the direction of conductor Scott Knopf, the Concord-Carlisle High School Orchestra took part in Festival Disney this past April in Orlando, Florida. The festival created a positive – and very challenging – atmosphere for orchestra members. Along with CCHS, more than 20 other musical groups from many states were judged and critiqued in this event. Their hard work paid off, as the CCHS orchestra received an “Excellent” rating for the third time in three years in competitions endorsed by the Music Educators National Conference (MENC).

The CCHS Orchestra takes center stage at Festival Disney in April and earned an “Excellent” rating for the third consecutive year. (Courtesy photo)

Carlisle participants in the festival included Sonia Boor, who served as concertmaster for the event; Kasturi Puntambekar, violinist; and David Zhang, violinist and exchange student from China, who was hosted this year by Carolynn and Jay Luby.

Two years of planning

The initial idea, which orchestra members began discussing two years ago, took many long hours to finalize. From discussing pieces to perform and finding a chaperone, to arranging transportation and funding the trip, orchestra officers fine-tuned every detail. Along with Mr. Knopf, orchestra officers John Hollingsworth, president, and Kate Nazareth, treasurer, played key roles in making the festival possible.

Funding the trip was one of the orchestra’s main concerns. In order to cover extra expenses, members chose to hold a candy fundraiser. With the help of orchestra mom Marilyn Nazareth, the orchestra sold – and helped eat -- more than $1,500 worth of See’s candy bars. The fundraising exceeded everyone’s expectations. “Based on the success of the fundraiser, I definitely think that it should be continued [for trips] in upcoming years,” acknowledged Hollingsworth. Donations from individuals, Concord-Carlisle Parents of Performing Students (CCPOPS), and other local organizations also helped make the trip possible.

The musical program

Pieces performed at Disney included a fugue by Mozart, two movements of the Telemann Viola Concerto in G (featuring Abbey Nichols on the solo part), the “Frolicsome Finale” from Britten’s Simple Symphony, and John Reed’s arrangement of Annie Lennox’s “Sweet Dreams Are Made of This.” Their performance was judged and critiqued by a string player, as requested by Mr. Knopf, who believes that high school string players benefit most from clinicians who are string players themselves.

From the planning to the actual playing at the Walt Disney Boardwalk, the three days overall helped orchestra members develop closer connections with each other, as well as reach for and achieve new goals. “I was able to get to know people I normally wouldn’t get a chance to,” said Erica Hass, orchestra librarian.“It was a just an amazing experience.” The trip also represented a milestone in the orchestra’s history, as this is the first time it has traveled out of state to participate in a competition with a national constituency. ∆

© 2008 The Carlisle Mosquito