KHS Symphony Orchestra to Carnegie Hall


art by Bridget Killian

Malayna Vines, writer

As the students’ bodies swayed back and forth, Patrick Jackson, KHS orchestra conductor, called out rhythms to a new arrangement for the March 2017 trip to New York City. The orchestra is one of three music groups nationwide chosen to perform at Carnegie Hall.

Jackson, who plans on retiring after the 2016-17 school year, will take 93 band and orchestra students who were chosen by audition. This is the first trip which will include band students, expanding what was only a string orchestra into a full orchestra.

“I knew before I retired I wanted to bring a full symphony orchestra to New York,” Jackson said. “Each trip is different, and I wanted this music to sound better than anything we had played before. Knowing that the additional band instruments could add depth to our sound, I decided to give band students the opportunity to audition to come to Carnegie.”

KHS students will fly to New York, attend a Broadway show, tour Chinatown and other attractions and perform at Carnegie Hall March 3-6. The orchestra previously travelled to New York City on their first trip to compete at the Heritage Music Festival, in 2010 to perform at Carnegie Hall and in 2013 to play in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center.

Clare Killian, senior, went in 2013 as a freshman and said the best part was performing in Alice Tully Hall, but said the trip was too short.

“We were only there three days, so being in New York City of all places it seemed kind of silly we didn’t spend more time immersing ourselves in the city,” Killian said. “There were also so many of us, making transportation more difficult.”

Jenna Dyroff, freshman, is most nervous about losing a family-like atmosphere during class because of the side effects of the trip.

“I’m afraid everyone is going to be so focused on fixing every single flaw that we’re not going to have many more relaxed days before [Jackson] retires,” she said. “We’re going to be afraid of messing everything up, so we’ll be focusing hard and trying to avoid ruining [Jackson’s] last trip.”

Dyroff said she’s most excited for the quality of music the orchestra is going to make.

“It’s a really good feeling when all of the kids are there for the same reason and the same goal: to play the best we can for Mr. Jackson,” she said.