Orchestra performs at San Francisco State University

November 12, 2015 — by Karissa Dong and Katherine Zhou

Arriving at San Francisco State University for the annual San Francisco music festival at noon on Oct. 23, the orchestra prepared to perform in front of fellow high school orchestras from the Bay Area.

Arriving at San Francisco State University for the annual San Francisco music festival at noon on Oct. 23, the orchestra prepared to perform in front of fellow high school orchestras from the Bay Area. Quietly observing and listening, the clinicians, who were members of a professional string quartet, prepared to offer their advice and criticism.

The Saratoga Strings orchestra performed Russell Peck’s “Signs of Life” and Arcangelo Corelli’s “La Folia.” Also participating in the festival were the lower orchestra levels.

“We’ve been practicing our repertoire since the beginning of the year, so it’s been two or three months now,” senior concertmaster Danny Gao said. “I feel like the group was more responsive this year to the judges’ comments. It’s always helpful to get outside feedback.”

Senior bass player Michael Fukuda, who has been playing his instrument for eight years, said that the clinicians offered useful advice. In particular, they spoke to the musicians about balancing resonance among the sections and making sure that the sounds complement each other.

“I think that the judges went way more into detail,” Fukuda said. “At most clinics, a lot of the commentary is just praise and not that much [advice for improvement], but I feel like in this one there was a lot of stuff we could take in.”

Besides the clinical work, Fukuda enjoyed the social aspects of the trip as well.

“It was really fun hanging out with all of the orchestra people that I know,” Fukuda said.

The orchestra looks forward to its culminating winter concert on Dec. 1, during which it will perform Christmas melodies and other pieces including Karl Jenkins’ “Palladio.”

 
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