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Conifer’s Musicians Come Together For Annual Area Concert

Monica Zoldowski
Sean Cartner directs for both Conifer’s Chamber Orchestra and Orchestra Strings, a developmental group. The middle school ensemble is directed by Laura Sarche, who is coming to direct at Conifer next year.

The Conifer Area Orchestra Concert, held on December 5, is an annual orchestra concert that features performers from the local feeder elementary schools (Parmale, Wilmot, Marshdale, West Jefferson, and Elk Creek), West Jefferson Middle School, and Conifer High School. All ensembles performed different kinds of music to match their skill level. 

“You kind of work your way up through the elementary school to the middle school, to the high school. So when you’re at top you feel like some of the best players there,” sophomore Addison Files said. 

Conifer’s orchestra has students who have played for five to nine years. The high school ensemble spent weeks preparing their chosen pieces: Ancient Ritual, Winter Solstice, and Rise of the Olympians. 

“I think we all played really well, everything was done how it should have been done and there were no major mistakes,” freshman Rowan Johnson said. 

Sean Cartner, who directs instrumental music at Conifer, prepared his students for their performance. 

“We started working on the music a little bit into November,” Cartner said. 

This gave the artists about a month to learn new music.

 “It was actually even better than I was expecting based on a rehearsal that was held during Lab as a full group the day before the concert,” Cartner said.

There are two classes of orchestra, 1st and 2nd period, there is also Lobo Lab where people come in to practice their instruments. They used Lobo Lab to rehearse for both the 1st and 2nd periods to play together and work out all the kinks they may have. 1st and 2nd periods both performed together, even though one was an audition and one was a non-audition orchestra. 

“With the rehearsal today during lab, I feel like we’re at a good point,”  freshman Sophie Kramer.

The orchestra concert was in Conifer High School’s Main Gym. The whole concert was performed from 6:30 to 7:30. It started with the Elementary Schoolers, then the Middle Schoolers, and then finished with the high schoolers. 

“This was probably the first time either ever or in a long time that I really didn’t feel very stressed about the performance because I knew the kids have prepared well, they were sounding great and I knew they were going to perform well,” Cartner said.

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