The Sound of Music: An Orchestra’s Struggles to Be Heard



Orchestra. A program that, at least at CHS, is not widely known. Since there are not enough students in orchestra to have a separate program at CHS, the violinists, violists, cellists and bassists travel to Crescent Valley at some point through the day to join Concertato, Sinfonietta and Camerata; the names of the three orchestras. Only Camerata travels and competes, but all of the students perform at the concerts, which alternate between the schools. Camerata, the highest orchestra, is one of the best in the state. Last year at the OSAA State Championships, Camerata (called Crescent Valley High School Orchestra on the official results) won first place in the string orchestra competition, conducted by Kristine Janes (who conducts all three orchestras). However, it was a bittersweet moment for Ms. Janes and the musicians, because it marked the final year that they would be allowed to compete in the state championships. OSAA ruled that, because “Crescent Valley” orchestra relied on students from CHS as well, it wasn’t fair to the other schools to be competing against two schools for the price of one.

Of course, the strings program couldn’t split the two schools; there aren’t enough students for that. CHS, while definitely a part of the program, doesn’t have enough musicians to realistically have its own orchestra (much less three). So Camerata, known for its strong sound, impressive technical work and passionate lyrical movements will no longer be competing against other orchestras. But that doesn’t mean they are off the record now. The orchestra concerts, which have not been attended as much as they deserve to be, will still be happening, and Camerata’s music will still be as beautiful as ever— if only you stop to listen.


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