Orchestra Students Begin the Festival Season with LVC Honors Orchestra

By Ryan Hartley, Photography Editor

The orchestra students are back into music festival season, kicking it off with the Lebanon Valley College Honors Orchestra.

LVC Honors Orchestra is a selective ensemble geared to give high school students a chance to prepare a concert in two days, along with scholarships available to the college’s music programs.

Photo by Ryan Hartley
Students, excited to start the day,  make their way to LVC for the second and final time of the festival.

The festival is typically held the first weekend in November, featuring a four hour long rehearsal on Friday and another eight hours of preparation the following day, ending with the community concert in the Blair Music Center on LVC’s campus.

Students attending the festival are expected to rehearse an assortment of difficult, mostly classical pieces that extend from the works of Beethoven all the way to the romantic era of Tchaikovsky.

The high school students at the college are from all of central PA’s regional schools, allowing them to meet other musically talented students from across the region and develop relationships along the way.

Photo by Ryan Hartley
Students make way to the main entrance of Susquehannock to begin their ride up to Lebanon Valley College for the first day of the festival.

The orchestra festival is led by professor Dr. Johannes Dietrich, an esteemed musician and teacher around the world, who has made home in PA’s Lebanon Valley.

Freshman Maddie Johnson is a first year LVC Honors Orchestra participant who has let the orchestra become an integral part of her yearly tradition.

“It’s definitely given me a feel on what it is like to play with people you have never met. It’s more classical music, so it’s good to play that since I have been playing a lot more modern music. I just like the experience. It adds to my future if I were to ever do this again,” said Johnson.

From the beautiful small college-town campus setting, to the esteemed practice of Johannes Dr. Detrich, the festival is a treat for those involved and the community that flows in the auditorium doors on performance day.

Photo by Ryan Hartley
Featuring a beautiful college-town atmosphere, LVC hosts students from across the region every year.

The Honors Orchestra performed a variety of pieces this year, including an Irish Sweet, contemporary world premiere performance of a newer piece and the works of Bach, just to name a few.

After the concert is over, the seniors that have been going to the orchestra festival since sophomore, or even freshman, year have a moment to reflect back on their years at the LVC Honors Orchestra and what the experience has meant to them.

Senior Alexandra Fabie has attended the festival for three years and is excited to let this last be the best one yet.

“It made me learn better from my experience in past years, and I’ve been able to watch my growth throughout the years since I have been here for about three years now,” said Fabie. ”I progressively learned harder music and more difficult music, and it has all made me a better player because of that.”

The other students attending the festival include senior Ryan Hartley, sophomore Andrew Kalmanowicz, junior Ashleigh Dell, junior Bethany Kuhns, freshman Ella Kloster, senior Alexandra Fabie, sophomore Justin Miller, senior Lindsey Snyder, freshman Maddie Johnson and junior Olivia Hartman.

Every year, Susquehannock’s orchestra department provides students with great learning experiences that not only affect their playing abilities, but their abilities in the classroom with lessons in discipline, punctuality and communication with others they may have never met before.

Photo by Ryan Hartley
The stage that holds hundreds of students every year as part of the LVC Honors Orchestra festival inside of the Blair Music Center.

Deitrich is always proud to have the area’s students at his orchestra.

“Everyone should be proud to be here, congrats’ on your accomplishment. Now, let’s play,” said Dietrich at the start of the first day of rehearsal.

The LVC Honors Orchestra experience is one of the many festivals students attend throughout this time of year, and will continue to provide a positive playing and learning experience for Susquehannock’s music students for years to come.