With speakers and microphones surrounding the stage, members of the Sinfonia Orchestra prepare to play a concert that they hope will captivate the audience and the panel of three judges who will receive the recording. Melodious sounds echo throughout the auditorium as the orchestra comenses and the microphones work to pick up the richness of the sound. As the concert comes to an end, a nervous excitement fills the air and the students reflect on their performance.
This recording from a concert earlier in the year was submitted to the Texas Music Educators Association for entry into the Honor Orchestra Contest, which led to an outstanding result. The Tompkins Sinfonia Orchestra was named as the 2018 Texas Honor Orchestra over Thanksgiving break. This achievement ranks the orchestra members as state champions and left many of the students shocked and proud.
“We knew something big was happening when we got called in, but getting number one was really surprising,” said member of the Sinfonia Orchestra, sophomore Akhil Nair.
Attaining this level of achievement is attributed to the hard work that the members, as well as orchestra director Matthew Porter and assistant director Sundas Mohi, put into the performance. Taking time to work during and after school on the pieces enhanced the quality of the orchestra’s playing, and allowed for a successful concert to be played. The commitment of the students is reflected in their dedication as well as their strong sense of community. Nair feels that this aspect helped to drive their success.
“I think it’s our director that helped us a lot, but also our sense of family and how we work together,” said Nair.
Porter did not find out about the award until after classes had been released for Thanksgiving break, so to reveal the news to his students he held an emergency meeting. This caught many students off guard, but once they heard the news a sudden burst of joy came over the students and they celebrated their monumental accomplishment.
“[Porter] called us in for an emergency meeting, and I asked the upperclassmen if they knew what was happening because this had not happened before,” said Nair.
In addition to being named the Texas Honor Orchestra, the Sinfonia Orchestra will play at the biggest music convention in the United States on Feb. 16 in Lila Cockrell Theatre at the Convention Center in San Antonio. Prior to traveling to the convention in San Antonio, the orchestra will give two send off concerts to showcase what they will be playing at the convention. The first concert is on Feb. 8 and will be held at Cinco Ranch at 7 p.m. and the second concert will be on Feb. 13 at Seven Lakes. The talented orchestra students have worked hard for this achievement and are excited to celebrate their victory.