Sound of Success

University Prep orchestras compete at music festival


Max Bolen, Laura Capossela, Quin Drabek, Komathi Anand, and Chancellor Avolio stand infront of the Old Main Theatre at Western Washington University

On Friday, March 10th, the University Prep Middle School orchestra boarded a bus to Bellingham to attend the Western Washington University Middle School State Orchestra Festival. Uprep was one of many schools that participated in the event.
“There were probably twenty to twenty five other schools there,” orchestra teacher Thane Lewis said. “They’re from across the whole state. So you have groups from Hudson’s Bay, Orcas Island, Central Washington.”
After many months of practicing and preparing their pieces, the middle school orchestra received the first place award for the Full Orchestra division, ahead of the massive Odle Middle School Symphony.
“They played pretty much exactly as expected. They were so consistent by this time because we’ve been rehearsing the pieces since early in the school year,” Lewis said.
The following day, the chamber orchestra performed their pieces at the festival. Four groups from the school participated and played their pieces.
“Chamber Strings was a twenty-two piece orchestra, all string instruments. We presented a woodwind quartet, a woodwind quintet, and a piano trio,” said Lewis. “The Chamber Strings placed 1st in their division and the Woodwind Quintet third in theirs. The full Chamber Orchestra received 3rd place in the Large School Full Orchestra division behind Olympia HS and Edmonds-Woodway.”
The orchestra has had a lot of playing experience from previous performances.
“They performed solid pieces for the regional Solo and Ensemble Contest in February,” Lewis said. “The Chamber Strings went on to State with the Holberg Suite by Grieg – they’re going to perform on April 28. On the 29th, Carmel Sedghi and Sonya Carter will be competing in the solo harp division.”
The music program at UPrep is becoming more popular as more students join every year. Lewis attributes this to the 6th-grade program that introduces students to music early on.
“We’ve seen a great deal of growth over recent years, we nearly doubled in size over the last few years. I feel like our program keeps growing stronger and we receive better and better results from performances. All the players work hard to prepare, and student leaders help to organize, plan and inspire us to do our best.”