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Delivering Sahuaro's Cutting Edge News & Saving Trees

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Sahuaro Orchestra’s Spooky Concert Joined by…Mr. Rutherford?

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Sahuaro’s Chamber Orchestra

On October 24th, the Sahuaro String and Chamber Orchestras held their first concert of the year. It’s tradition for the orchestra to have a Halloween-themed concert where they all dress up, and since his arrival at Sahuaro, Mr. Schmidgall says he’s,”…been happy to keep it going!”

What wasn’t so traditional for this concert was their guest star, Mr. Rutherford! Mr. Rutherford is a science teacher here at Sahuaro, so what was he doing with the orchestra?

Sahuaro Chamber Orchestra and Mr. Rutherford

Mr. Rutherford has been playing bass for 10 years (from 3rd grade to his senior year, and a semester in college) and after taking a long break, he decided to pick the instrument back up again. He had always hoped that orchestra would line up with his planning period, and luckily for him, this was the year! He wasn’t able to go in every day, but he would go at least a couple of times a week. He played in the orchestra when he was a kid, and he said those feelings of excitement and nervousness before the concert were coming back to him. He tries not to let the nerves get to him; his method is to turn the nerves into excitement because he knows,”… I’m not a professional musician, this is not a professional orchestra, and I don’t need to be perfect, so I can just have more fun with it.”

For many musicians, orchestra is an outlet and a way to escape school, but when your teacher is added to the mix, how does that change things? Rebecca Martinez, violinist and a student of Mr. Rutherford’s said, “I laughed. I just thought that was really wacky and I’ve never done that before… So, I chuckled a little bit, but it’s really fun to play with him.”

Jasmine Berrellez, Rebecca Martinez, and other orchestra members.

Another one of Mr. Rutherford’s students and bass player, Jasmine Berrellez, said, “I thought it was like really cool actually. I remember we had talked about it a lot in bio, and so I think it was pretty cool just seeing him come out and play with us and then put in the time and effort to do it.” Jasmine plays the same instrument as him, and she said it’s, “…super-cool. I think it definitely like felt a lot better to have somebody else play the instrument because it’s like I’m the only person who plays bass and so being able to kind of dial down my own playing and not play as hard it’s like, I like it a lot.”

Mr. Rutherford said playing with the orchestra was, “Unbelievably fun,” and they were, “…super super welcoming.” He says the orchestra is,”…such a good group – it’s such a good class. Our fine arts here at Sahuaro are like really pretty fantastic.” Rutherford has helped coach track, cross country, swim, and soccer and he says, “There’s so many different strengths that everybody has and it’s super cool to see that.” He enjoys seeing kids come together to work on the same goal because in a classroom setting it can be individualistic. He also says that Mr. Schmidgall was welcoming towards him, and he thinks that,”…Schmidgall is a fantastic teacher. It’s so great that we have him here at Sahuaro. He does such a good job teaching the kids about music in depth and all the different ways that music is art instead of just like, ‘Oh play these notes,’ and stuff. He’s really into expanding the artistic capabilities of the students.” Mr. Rutherford says he’s more into bass than he was in school because now that he’s older, he sees it as more of a “joyous artistic outlet” and he can hear things a little differently.

Sahuaro’s String Orchestra

The orchestras played 6 pieces total with the String Orchestra playing St. Lawrence Overture by Elliot Del Borgo, Burst! by Brian Balmages, and Into the Midnight Forest by Mekel Rogers. The Chamber Orchestra played Mabel Creek Overture by William G. Harbinson, Enigma by Ben Snoek, and Deux Danses de la Renaissance by Arbeau/Gervaise. Mr. Schmidgall said, There’s been a good variety of pieces throughout both groups. This is our fall concert, so each group we try to get one like ‘spooky’ sounding song, and I’m really pleased with how the orchestras have been able to portray the different feelings that each piece needs.

Sahuaro’s Chamber Orchestra and Guest Percussionist

The String Orchestra had Jevonte Bailey filling in for an absent cello player, and he learned the pieces in a very short time. The Chamber Orchestra was joined by J Molina playing drums for one of the songs. Overall, this concert was very enjoyable and with all the students dressed up playing “spooky” sounding songs, it was the perfect fall activity. If you’re ever in the mood for an entertaining concert performed by talented students who are dedicated to their craft, come see one of Sahuaro Orchestra’s concerts!

 

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About the Contributor
Mia Payette
Mia Payette, Editor
Mia Payette is a junior at Sahuaro High School. She likes to stay busy by being involved with school. Mia plays snare drum in the marching band and has been a percussionist since 5th grade. Band takes up a huge piece of her heart, and she is President of the Band Club. She is also a part of book club and runs social media (@sahuaro_bookworms on IG). This year she is adding The Paper Cut to her list of involvements, but her passion for writing and journalism started in her middle school journalism class. She attended a camp at the UofA this year to reignite her love for writing, and she hopes to attend their School of Journalism after she graduates. Mia has a predilection for all things colorful and you can often find her wearing her favorite color pink. She loves to accessorize and make her own jewelry to reflect her personal style. Mia is a nostalgic person and takes pictures to remember the past and where she was at that exact moment. Her phone has over 6,000 pictures. The sunset, friends, and her dog are her favorite subjects for taking photos. She has an older sister, Tara, who recently graduated, leaving Mia to spend these next two years at Sahuaro on her own!

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