Orchestra Says Farewell to Seniors

Ethan Amato ’18

Instrument: Violin

Years in Orchestra: Four

 

Glenn Bechtler ’18 

Instrument: French horn in Orchestra and trumpet in Jazz Band

Years in Orchestra: Four

 

Lauren Christie ’18 

Instrument: Clarinet

Years in Orchestra: Four

 

Alvin Fan ’18 

Instrument: Violin

Years in Orchestra: Four 

Oracle Team: What attracted you to music?

Alvin Fan: Personally, I was forced into playing music. My parents are both musicians, and so, from a young age, I started playing different instruments. However, somewhere along the way, I [fell] in love with playing. Moments when the entire orchestra blends together, or when a difficult passage finally becomes playable are all reasons why I still play the violin, and will continue to do so after Blair.

OT: What’s the funniest thing that happened to you while in Orchestra?

AF: Freshman year at the Steel Stacks performance, I left my folder (and all the music inside) in the rehearsal room. So as we walked onto stage, ours was the only stand that did not have music on it. Emily Insana ’16, who was my stand partner back then, started panicking and I ran back to scramble for my music. About five minutes later, I crept back on stage (although not very discreetly) and began playing. Absolutely a classic freshman story.

OT: What will you miss about playing music at Blair?

AF: I’ll miss the people. Honestly, the people really made my time practicing and playing much more enjoyable. Amongst them are some of my best friends, Ethan Amato ’18 and Paul Sereeyothin ’18, who always make long practices bearable and amazing, and passionate musicians, like Brandy Zhang ’18 and Ernesto Lippert ’18. While I will hopefully continue playing music after Blair, I know that these people will never be replaced.

 

Sammi Hui Bon Hoa ’18 

Instrument: Trombone

Years in Orchestra: Four

OT: What attracted you to music?

Sammi Hui Bon Hoa: Both my brother and sister played in band when they were in middle school, so I decided it would be fun to do it too. A lot of my friends also decided to pick up instruments, so I thought it would be fun to join them. I also have always loved music, whether it’s regular music or movie scores, and I thought it would be cool to learn an instrument and join the music community.

OT: What will you miss about playing music at Blair?

SHBH: One of my favorite parts of being in Orchestra is our class first block Monday morning. [The class] is not sleepy or dragging like you would expect, but it’s not extremely bouncy and energetic [either]. It’s somewhere in the middle: smooth and calm. I’m going to miss that sound a lot. I’m also going to miss getting the chance to play and perform with this group of amazing people!

 

Willy Kaiser ’18 

Instrument: Trombone

Years in Orchestra: Four

OT: What’s the funniest thing that happened to you while in Orchestra?

Willy Kaiser: The funniest thing that happened to me has to be freshman year when we went on the Europe Trip. Mekhi Holley ’17, who graduated last year, only brought one shirt on the trip and it was way too tight. He couldn’t button it up all the way and made every concert just so funny to be a part of. 

OT: What will you miss about playing music at Blair?

WK: I will truly miss the people. I’ve met so many unique people that I wouldn’t have gotten close to if it weren’t for orchestra. Not only that, but I have so many shared experiences with so many people, and it’s so cool to be able to have memories with such a wide variety of classmates. I will also truly miss Mrs. Pagotto. She has ignited my love for music, and has made Orchestra such an amazing experience these past four years.

 

Ernesto Lippert ’18 

Instrument: Violin

Years in Orchestra: Four

 

Emma Mohlmann ’18

Instrument: Alto saxophone

Years in Orchestra: Four

OT: Why did you choose the instrument that you did?

EM: I chose the saxophone because I thought it was just a super cool instrument… so it’s only right that I continued throughout high school.

OT: What’s the funniest thing that happened to you while in orchestra?

EM: In Orchestra, we all joke about how everyone wants to be Paul (because Paul is so amazing). He’s such an amazing musician, which is what makes the joke so funny.

OT: What will you miss about playing music at Blair?

EM: I’m going to miss Mrs. Pagotto’s effortlessness… she embodies the true heart of Orchestra.

 

Janice Negvesky ’18

Instrument: Harp

Years in Orchestra: Four

OT: What attracted you to music? Why did you choose the instrument that you did?

JN: I’ve always loved music… when I was little I tried to “air play” the piano anytime I heard it. I ended up choosing the harp at age nine because I had an obsession with mermaids and fairies during that time, and I wanted to be just like the mermaids in my books.

OT: What has been your favorite part of participating in the music curriculum at Blair? 

JN: I think connecting with people on a level that language cannot express is so special. Much of music is influenced by interpretation, emotion, etc, and it’s really amazing to me that through the class we not only create something new, beautiful, and exciting but we also get to learn from each other through [other people’s] passions, emotions, and approaches to the music.

OT: What will you miss about playing music at Blair?

JN: I’ll really miss Mrs. Pagotto. She’s been with me all four years and has inspired me not only as a musician but also a person.

 

Katie Peacock ’18 

Instrument: Trumpet

Years playedSince the fourth grade

Years in Orchestra: Four 

OT: What attracted you to music?

KP: I started playing the trumpet because my older brother used to play, too, and I didn’t want him to be better than me at anything.

OT: What has been your favorite part of participating in the music curriculum at Blair

KP: I have a lot of favorite aspects about music at Blair, but I’m the most thankful for the friends I’ve made. It’s been the privilege of a lifetime to get to sit with Willy, Sammi, and Glenn everyday.

OT: What’s the funniest thing that happened to you while in Orchestra?

KP: My funniest memory is having to play “Fanfare for the Common Man” from the balcony my freshman year. We were all so nervous for our first concert, and the piece was really difficult. Sammi and Willy (who play the trombone) were worried about their slides falling off into the audience below. It was not the best performance, but it’s something we’ll always be able to look back on and laugh.

 

Paul Sereeyothin ’18 

Instrument: Alto saxophone

Years in Orchestra: Three

 

Adham Sobhy ’18 

Instrument: Viola

Years in Orchestra: Four

Rebecca Xi ’18

Instrument: Violin

Years Played: About five

Years in Orchestra: Four

OT: What attracted you to music? 

RX: To be honest, my parents made that decision for me. I was nine years old and picking up any new instrument seemed like a cool idea. Nowadays, though, I play the violin specifically because of how absolutely beautiful I know it can sound. The Phantom of the Opera soundtrack has proven very motivational.

OT: What has been your favorite part of participating in the music curriculum at Blair?

RX: Being able to witness the unstoppable force that holds it all together (Mrs. Pagotto, you rock!) and having the opportunity to both work hard and goof off with some of my best friends.

 

Brandy Zhang ’18 

Instrument: Clarinet in Orchestra and piano in Jazz Ensemble

Years in Orchestra: Four

OT: What will you miss about playing music at Blair?

Brandy Zhang: EVERYTHING! This is such a fun and inclusive program. I will probably never experience [anything like] it again.

(Copyright 2018 Oracle)

Oracle

The Oracle Staff

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