Orchestra Members Gain New Musical Opportunities

January 3, 2023

Students walk in, string instruments in hand, ready to perform their audition to get a spot in a highly competitive orchestra.

Junior Harrison Mabon (left), junior Robert Rosul (middle), and senior Makani Ross (right) pose with their violins. Photograph Courtesy of Andrew Jones

Three students from Susquehannock auditioned for the District Orchestra, all receiving a spot – junior Harrison Mabon, junior Robert Rosul, and senior Makani Ross.

Auditioners need to prepare for District Orchestra months in advance to be able to feel confident in their piece. Andrew Jones, the new orchestra teacher, describes how and what students need to have in order to audition.

“Students find out in the early summer what the audition piece is and then have about four or five months to prepare,” Jones said. “On the string side of things, they have to prepare an entire solo and scales.”

Ross, who was in Districts previously and made it to Regionals, was anxious during her audition.

“I was very nervous during the audition,” Ross said. “The nerves never go away even after four years of doing it, but I pushed through.

With tryouts, Jones believes that the students who auditioned need to have a sense of determination in order to succeed.

“I think anybody can try out; they just need to have the willingness and perseverance to work on… [your audition],” Jones said.

Mabon, who has been in the orchestra since elementary school, believes that you have to have the right mindset during the audition to help handle the stress of it all.

“You are always trying to stay relaxed because if you tense up, you do not play as well,” Mabon said. “Inevitably, you get stressed out, so you always have to try and channel that stress into a positive response.”

There are many factors that can lead to stress, and Mabon believes that waiting in line and starting your piece are the two main ones.

“You are waiting in a line for hours, without being able to play or do anything, just standing there,” Mabon said. “…Starting is also the most scary part because if you get a nice clean start, you just need to take a deep breath and go with it:

Jones knows that Mabon, Rosul, and Ross are leaders within the music department, so he strongly wishes for them to make it all the way.

“I hope that they make Regionals and then from there, States,” Jones said. “…All three of them have shown the willingness and perseverance to want to succeed.”

Makani has one goal, and this is to redeem herself from last year.

“I hope to make it to States this year because last year I [only] made it to regionals,” Makani said.

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