In a nutshell, middle orchestra is the only class in middle school that offers students the opportunity to share mind with the great masters. For example, our chamber orchestra is learning a piece of George Frederic Handel’s Royal Fireworks this semester. As we learn and perform the piece, we share a part of the master’s musical mind– it’s like time travel to perform music from another age.
Handel composed this famous music in 1749, and it’s been a hit since its first performance (amid real fireworks, which caught the royal barge on fire in the Thames!). Handel couldn’t write his celebratory masterpiece for wind symphony in 1749 because that kind of ensemble hadn’t been invented yet– and wouldn’t be for about 200 more years.
Handel did write wonderful choral music, which is generally very difficult and performed by higher-level ensembles than middle school choirs. Likewise in theater and literature: Shakespeare, Milton, & Donne wait for high schoolers; Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Virgil, Tacitus require translation.
It is solely in orchestra where middle schooler’s first may participate in the music and mind of the great masters.
Please consider joining Killian’s orchestra next year. Instrument fitting and orchestra open house is Saturday, March 2, from 10AM to 2PM. Sign up for a time-slot here.