For the past few months, many of Southmoreland’s own musicians have been auditioning for different programs to perform and be recognized for all their hard work and dedication. From Tri-M to district band, the band room has been filled with many audition pieces and cheers as the students celebrate their admission. Jenn Firestone is another one of these students, but instead of honors band, she tried out for honors orchestra and was accepted.
Back in June, Firestone, a senior, received her audition music, Simandl’s Etude #3. She spent the next three months practicing the song.
In early September, it was time for her audition. Firestone recalls being “very nervous” because she had only been playing bass for a year and did not think she would make it.
Jamie Gore, high school music teacher, was extremely proud of her for putting in the extra work to learn an advanced etude on bass.
The day after she auditioned, Firestone was told that she had made it into Honors Orchestra and she was ecstatic, “When I found out I made it I actually started to cry,” said Firestone. “I came home from the audition thinking to myself “I know I didn’t make it, I don’t belong there” so it was really surprising and incredible.”
Firestone is the first student to audition for Honors String Orchestra since Jamie Gore started in 2006. “ I am thrilled that Jenn has the opportunity to sit among some of the top strings performers in our area.” said Mrs. Gore. “She has worked diligently to earn this opportunity and, as I sit here proudly watching her rehearse with the group, I know that this will be an experience that she will remember and cherish.”
On Nov. 19, Firestone performed in the orchestra. Nerves kicked up a little bit as she got ready to play, but as she sat down, the nerves faded.
“I sat in my chair and cooled off my nerves by reading this note Mrs. Gore wrote me.” said Firestone, “I thought about the people and things that make me happy along with how people were so proud of what I was accomplishing and the music I was producing.”
The orchestra played Simple Symphony by Benjamin Britten, Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber, and Capriccio Espagnol by Rimsky-Korsakov.
Firestone said she had a wonderful time with this opportunity.
“It was the first time I’ve played in an orchestra with other basses so it was kind of like playing for the first time,” said Firestone. “It was really really fun, and I loved the conductor, his personality was very funny and bright.”
Firestone said she will always “hold the experience in her heart” and would perform again “in a heartbeat.” She also encourages any other student in string instruments to audition.
“It is truly something you’ll never forget.”