Dating back to its conception in 1900, Symphony Hall has held an integral place in Boston’s culture for over a century, and it is nationally renowned for its historical significance. The hall was recognized by the United States government as a US Historic Landmark in 1999 and serves as the home of the Boston Pops Orchestra and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. With such high accolades to boast, it is safe to say that the opportunity to perform at the hall is a humbling experience, and the Wind Ensemble and Honors Chamber Orchestra had just this opportunity earlier this month.
Both the school Wind Ensemble, which won the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductors Association (MICCA) gold medal award earlier this year, and the Honors Chamber Orchestra were invited to the hall on April 11. The concert was free for all to attend, and the two groups performed “Stars at Symphony” under the direction of Steve Scott and Katherine Greene, respectively.
Out of the wide variety of aspects to choose from, school Wind Ensemble member Willie Meng ’16 particularly enjoyed the hall’s acoustic idiosyncrasies. “ The coolest part about Symphony is the massive echo that goes throughout the hall whenever you play a note,” he said, “There’s a huge resonance that you can’t find anywhere else.”
Members of both the Wind Ensemble and the Honors Chamber Orchestra are quick to praise their experience in the programs, even beyond such unique opportunities as the Symphony Hall concert. Hiro Yasunishi ’16 of the Honors Chamber Orchestra is one such student, who sees the school orchestra as something that extends into multiple aspects of his outside life. “For me, playing the violin in orchestra eases the stress that accumulates during the school day. In addition, since school orchestra is a collaboration of different grade levels, the experience is exciting and it motivates me to strive for my best,” said Yasunishi.
The opportunity to return to Symphony Hall is within the realm of possibility, although it would require a blend of skill and luck in the years to come. All MICCA gold medal award winners enter into a lottery, and the winner of that lottery then performs at Symphony Hall. The lottery occurs annually, providing students with multiple chances to play at the most historic venue in Boston.
(Alex Doe ’16, News Editor)