Continuing its eight-year “Superior” score streak, the Casady Philharmonic received the highest score of “exceeds satisfactory” in every subcategory from all three judges for the OSSAA String Orchestra Contest at Edmond Santa Fe High School on November 16th, 2022. They performed two pieces: the First Movement of Symphony No. 1 by William Boyce and Appalachia Waltz by Mark O’Connor.
Musical instruments are not easy to play, so to prepare, members of the orchestra rehearsed their music every day at school, sacrificing precious PA+ time usually used to study or do homework. Many musicians also use some of their time at home to listen to and practice their pieces.
Mr. Larry Moore, the co-director of the Casady Philharmonic and co-principal bassist in the OKC Philharmonic said, “students today are given a lot more opportunities to be better musicians, mainly because of technology,” when asked about how the learning experience today differs from when he started teaching. He also accredited the orchestra’s success to the students and their willingness to learn and help each other.
The OSSAA Orchestra Contest is a great opportunity to receive performance feedback. Even Casady, seemingly perfect due to the judges’ ratings, received many recommendations, including, “taper your phrase a bit more at [measure] 24”, and“ [use] more contrast between [forte] and [piano]” meaning loud and soft.
According to Casady Philharmonic concertmaster Paloma Torres-Tono (‘23), the best part of the OSSAA String Orchestra Contest is being able to “show how the orchestra plays and what [they] are capable of.” She also noted that showcasing the pieces that the orchestra has worked very hard on for months is very rewarding.
Casady attends two orchestra contests each year. One is held in the fall, while the other is in the spring. The second is generally considered a more difficult contest due to sight reading, in which musicians are required to perform minutes after seeing a piece of music for the first time. Nevertheless, almost all of the musicians are very excited to attend the spring contest.
Congratulations to the orchestra on this achievement, and good luck with all future competitions and performances.