Best of the Week 2021-2022: Teaching to the Future
ST. ED'S ORCHESTRA: THE PURSUIT OF SHARED ARTISTIC EXPRESSION
The Orchestra at St. Edward High School welcomes string players, wind instrumentalists, and percussionists to perform a repertoire of classical and contemporary music. Established in the 2012-2013 school year, St. Ed's Orchestra is made up of a dedicated group of nine Edsmen who have been playing musical instruments since elementary school. Orchestra began at the same time as the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme was introduced at St. Ed's. "Both programs attract the same type of students - those who are looking for something challenging and mentally stimulating. Our Orchestra gives students an opportunity to continue their musical growth in a group setting, which is uncommon among all-male private schools," says Orchestra Director Robert Burns. "We also have a few students who play multiple instruments and those who want to learn how to play other instruments. Our students learn the intricacies of musical performance from playing varied music from Vivaldi and contemporary composers to scores from films and video games." Orchestral literature goes back many centuries and the instruments, being among the most expressive, continue to be in common use today. "It is rewarding when students make connections and appreciate music written from 300 years ago to as recent as last year. You know something is hitting home when students stay an extra 10 or 15 minutes after rehearsal to keep playing their instruments," says Mr. Burns. "The pursuit of shared artistic expression is something today’s world truly needs. To me there is nothing more important to future generations than the ability to share and express emotion, and Orchestra brings students together to do just that."