Straight Superiors Bring OHS Orchestra Blue Ribbon Status (Updated)

Ever since its founding in 1977, Osbourn has been a place where many different art forms flourish. One of these departments, Osbourn’s Orchestra, has completed a multitude of accomplishments, especially this year. The most recent highlight was at Virginia State Assessment. 

Both the orchestra’s lower groups (Concert and Eagle) and their advanced groups (Chamber and Symphonic) scored straight superiors! Assessment is important because it is essentially SOL for music. During assessment, groups play 3 pieces and are judged by 3 judges on things like intonation, tone, and overall sound quality. You are even judged by how you walk onto the stage. The second part of assessment includes sight-reading a piece and being judged on how you prepared and played. Earning a superior, or a 1, is like getting a 100%! 

“I’ve played in the orchestra for six years, but this is my first assessment. It felt nice! I was obviously nervous. And when I heard we got straight superiors I was overjoyed. We did good, and we need to keep that up,” said senior T’niya Johnson.

Schools that receive straight superiors in each of their top groups throughout all of their music departments are considered as Blue Ribbon schools. Orchestra was recognized for this at the school board meeting on Tuesday the 28th. Orchestra students gathered and took pictures with Ms. Lamons and three school board members, including Dr. Newman.

Another big part of the orchestra is playing at concerts. This year held 5 concerts, including the two upcoming ones. Each concert is more improved than the ones before. Anna Miller, the Metz orchestra director and someone who has been to each performance, said “I am so impressed with the sense of community I have seen from all of the orchestra groups. I can tell that you all work as a team and care about what you put out on stage. I was especially proud to see all of my past students leading their sections with such great technique and poise! I also loved hearing the chamber group; they played with energy and set a great example for what the lower groups can work up to.”

The Halloween concert included students dressing up in costumes and playing songs like “Zombie Tango” and “Themes from Harry Potter.” It was also the first concert of the year. In December, orchestra played holiday and winter-themed songs, followed by every single student playing “Jingle Bells” together. At the pre-assessment concert, each piece from the assessment line-up was performed.

Orchestra’s next two concerts are the All-City and Spring concerts. All-City will take place on April 26th. It will include every single orchestra, from the very beginners in 5th grade to the seniors at Osbourn. Each group will play a few songs, then come together for a group performance. Spring concert, on Tuesday, May 16, will be the last concert of the year. Each group will play a song and some groups will combine together for joint performances. We hope to see you at the orchestra’s next concerts!

One issue throughout the year was the organization of the levels in orchestra. Starting next year, there will be a new class for only beginners. Do you want to learn a new instrument? This class is for you! Unlike the two higher-level classes, this will not require an audition and is open to absolutely everyone. If you have any questions, you can contact Ms. Lamons at [email protected]

If you have musical experience but aren’t enrolled in orchestra classes at OHS, consider joining! You can email Ms. Lamons if you want to have an audition! 

Osbourn Orchestra also has an Instagram page! @ohsorchestra.

For more updates and information, check back in on this article. We will be updating and adding as time goes on.

ALL CITY UPDATE: After rehearsing all day for All City, each orchestra (Baldwin, Mayfield, Metz, and Osbourn) gathered in the gym to put on their performance. This was the 34th year! It was difficult because the gym was unfamiliar to play in, and they had never rehearsed all together before. 5th grade played Royal Promenade. 6th grade played Russian Music Box and Dragon Hunter. Metz Orchestra played Spy Rock. Finally, Osbourn played Pirates of the Caribbean, Final Countdown, and Spartacus. All of the orchestras played one song together; Folk Tune Festival. The composer of the piece was in attendance and expressed how she loved to hear it, as it was the first time the piece was ever played.

The next concert will be on May 16th.