Orchestra is Mr. Marrs’ Forte

Without orchestra, life would be B-flat!


Paula Le, Reporter

Violins, cellos, flutes, pianos, and more…When you think about Orchestra in 2020, what’s the first thing that pops up in your head? Musicians in sync over calls? Orchestra and other fine arts classes at Sahuaro are facing a new challenge every day. Nevertheless, Mr. Marrs moves forward in life and continues to pursue his ultimate passion, music.

I had the chance to interview Mr.Marrs and when asked what is his all-time slogan, he said, “We are the music makers! And we are the dreamers of the dreams!” -Willy Wonka

Mr. Marrs’ favorite meme is obviously related to orchestra!

When I had a one-on-one conversation with Mr. Marrs, I was curious about what class is like on Zoom. He answered, “Playing an instrument alone can be rewarding but playing music with others is magical.  Playing music on Zoom is just like playing music alone. There is no way that we can have rehearsals on Zoom.  We can work on technique, intonation, rhythm, tone quality (this is tough, but doable over zoom), and more.  But you cannot play in time with others over a Zoom call.  The lag time because of computer speed, internet speed, etc make it impossible to have a real rehearsal.  So, there are some benefits to playing in Zoom calls vs not playing at all.  But can we play in sync?  No.”

Many parents as well as students look forward to orchestra concerts every year. So far, Marrs’ response was, “We have no plans to create an online orchestra concert yet.”

I, like many others, was interested in what playing an instrument by yourself or as a group is like. “We have one person share and stay unmuted while the others stay muted and play along.  We play with recordings of orchestras and guitarists.  We are still working on instrumental techniques, music theory, etc.  We are learning music individually, biding time until we can play as an ensemble,” he said.

Sadly this year, many classes at Sahuaro had to cancel/postpone events and meeting up with people. This year, Mr. Marrs was looking forward to making memories with his students. “I love rehearsing.  I love the energy that these high school students bring to creating art.  I am lucky to work with smart, musical, kind, hard-working musicians at Sahuaro.  I was looking forward to rehearsing with these awesome students.  We will be back soon enough!”