Taking on the Professors at Idaho

Rhiannon Rogers, Staff Reporter

On Tuesday of last week, the string ensemble and the symphony orchestra took a charter bus to Moscow Idaho for an all day workshop at the University of Idaho. String members got to experience the local mall to have dinner and explore after checking into the hotel. Everyone went to their rooms (four people per room) to get some shut eye for getting up early the next morning.

Around 7:30 a.m., the string members went into the lobby for and honorary free breakfast consisting of waffles, cereal, muffins and coffee. The students then set off to take on the college campus and everything else it had to offer.

The college was established on Jan 30, 1889. It has 253 buildings, 42 acres of parking lots, 22 computer labs, 18-hole golf course, and 16 fraternities and 10 sororities. The auditorium had very high ceilings, vintage crystal chandeliers, and stained glass windows. The furniture, the walls and even the space heaters looked antique.

For the first 30 minutes, string members from Cour d’ Alene high school and Kamiakin did a clapping exercise which is used to help keep tempo. Keeping tempo is very important to a musician because it is the speed at which the music progresses. The tempo doesn’t necessarily mean how fast or how slow, it means it’s used just to set the mood of a particular piece of music.

The sting members then separated into groups based on what they played in the orchestra. The groups are first violin, second violin, viola, cello, and bass. Each class played music that was given by a professor who specializes in that instrument. “We went into a little room and played little kid viola specific music,” said sophomore Eleanor Ard. Students performed sight reading which is the reading and performing a piece of music without ever have seeing it, or without preparation.

After the students split up, they gathered back into the auditorium to be shown where the cafeteria was for lunch. The cafeteria had many small restaurants that had pizza, sushi and Mexican food. String members sat amongst the college students after they got their food. “The cafeteria was weird, but the food was good. It was way better than our school lunch,” said junior violinist Claudia Myers.

Right after lunch the orchestra went back into the auditorium and onto the stage. Another professor taught the Alexander Theory, which is to teach people how to stop using unnecessary levels of muscular and mental tension during their everyday activities achieved in this case by playing an instrument for an hour or more a day. He taught about the joints in the body and what the effects are if you’re playing improperly. He did some exercises that the orchestra mirrored to know and feel what proper posture in a chair is while playing an instrument.

When the long day was over, string ensemble and symphony orchestra packed their instruments and belongings back up to get on the bus for the way home.