By Andrew ’21
One of the most exceptional programs at the upper school is the instrumental music program. The program includes several different ensembles comprised of different combinations of instruments: there is the Wind Ensemble, the classic band of winds, brass, and percussion; Camerata Strings, a smaller string orchestra; various jazz ensembles; and Symphony.
As a Symphony student, I am taught by Mr. Hilt. His teaching has allowed me to view music through multiple perspectives and motivates me to continue discovering new ways of improving my musicality and expression. Each quarter, the instrumental music program has concerts where all the musicians perform pieces we’ve been practicing in class. However, Symphony is not just for orchestral playing; each year, we also have a chamber concert.
In chamber music, we rehearse and perform pieces in smaller groups, allowing for more tight-knit connections and collaboration. Listening to other musicians’ playing garners other students’ attention and inspires more musical passion. Some of the instrumental music programs also take yearly tours to different countries where musicians are able to perform in a completely new environment, as well as explore and sightsee. In recent years, HW music students have traveled to play in England, Japan, Canada, Italy, and more. Through these experiences, students are not only able to travel but also can interact and develop deeper friendships with peers in their ensemble. Although we are currently unable to play our instruments together in-person, we have been able to explore other avenues of music appreciation, individually learning our pieces and then putting our parts together online, in addition to learning about music theory and the musical context behind pieces throughout history.