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The Lack of an Orchestra in ASD

Kyle+Jones%2C+Band+Director%2C+conducts+the+High+School+Band.
Kyle Jones, Band Director, conducts the High School Band.

Kyle Jones, Band Director, conducts the High School Band.

Photo by Aja Schiller

Photo by Aja Schiller

Kyle Jones, Band Director, conducts the High School Band.

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Orchestra is not an option at Aspen School District, yet offering an orchestra to students would be beneficial toward the kids. Students can learn a variety of techniques and skills not taught in band, such as playing with a bow, and playing more classical music pieces. Orchestra is different from band, teaches different curriculum, and should be an offered course.

While band and orchestra differ in instruments and music genre, they both offer a potential to learn through music. Band offers instruments such as: the trumpet, the clarinet, and the tuba, etc, meanwhile orchestra offers: violin, cello, and other string instruments.

In middle school, when a student usually begins their band career, the lack of string instruments can cause them to take another class, even if they want to play an instrument. Roaring Fork Youth Orchestra offers students a chance to play an orchestral instrument, but the program is not widely heard of, and can cost $200 a semester, which would mean $400 per year.

“The only issue is that orchestra focuses on classical music specifically, while our band is doing a drum line now, so I don’t think it would be a good mix. Maybe the school could start an orchestra separate from the band.” Said Audrey Linn, a member of both the AHS band and the Roaring Fork Orchestra.

Though the music department in ASD is small, (around 15 people), adding an orchestra could increase the program’s size and popularity through people talking about it. Orchestra and Band are closely related, though their differences are what sets them apart from each other. The school, as well as the students, would benefit from an orchestra program in the ASD.

Playing a string instrument is also beneficial to a student’s health. According to a study from Connolly Music Co., playing an orchestral instrument can help improve memory, focus concentration, and release tension.

“I was only in orchestra for half a year, but it was nice. Everybody was very close. It felt like a little family.” Though Linn was talking about the Roaring Fork Orchestra, she thinks that if the ASD offered orchestra, the experience would be very similar.

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