Mr. Marrs and the Sahuaro Orchestra Start Their Outside Rehearsals!


Alex Herman, Reporter

There’s no denying that it’s been hard not being able to interact with our peers in-person or have that one-on-one time with our teachers. But there’s no stopping our teachers from making this year as socially beneficial online as it would be in-person and that’s a fact! Who is one of those teachers you might ask? Well…the one and the only…MR. MARRS!

Mr. Marrs, Sahuaro’s orchestra/guitar teacher, has been able find the time to sit down with students from all three of his orchestras outside of school and help them rehearse their pieces that they are assigned in class in a safe way. These rehearsals have started once a week on Thursdays (as of right now) from 4- 5:30 at Sahuaro. They require “up to ten” people to meet outdoors. While outdoors and rehearsing, they are wearing their masks and sitting six feet apart from each other. They are handed photo copies of their pieces, but once given to them, they cannot hand them back.

Mr. Marrs and a few of his talented orchestra students!

During some rehearsals, Marrs has had the students play several pieces back-to-back to expose them to lots of different literature.  In other rehearsals, he will focus on one piece or even a small section of a piece so that the ensemble can make that portion sound really good. Marrs has found in the start of the rehearsals that even some of the basics, like putting weight into the bow of the string or making the biggest sound they can with only being ten of them, is the priority.

With starting rehearsals, Marrs has his own goals. His first goal is community. He wants to make sure everybody has the time to see each other in a safe manner. His second goal is getting people comfortable with being an ensemble again. As him, along with others may feel, Zoom isn’t as personal and productive as just being around people outside of a computer screen.

As a fellow orchestra student here at Sahuaro, I could definitly say it’s been very hard not seeing my orchestra peers, Mr. Marrs, or just being able to make that one-on-one music, but as Marrs said, “I’m glad we’re keeping people safe, but musicality and camaraderie are important aspects to making music, aspects that are difficult to create in Zoom.”

2020 has definitely shown us that we all might be going through it and we don’t know if we will have our old “normal”. ..but to make the best of it! Marrs has definitely been an important figure in still staying positive, whether it’s taking the steps to listen to students in Zoom or taking the time out to schedule SAFE outside rehearsals to let us partake in doing stuff that we love in a secure way, and I couldn’t thank you more Marrs!