There are many different ensembles students at KO can participate in, whether it be the band, choir, or orchestra. While these on-campus groups make wonderful music, many musically inclined students want to show off their skills at an even higher level. The Regional Honor Concert is the quintessential place for KO’s musicians to showcase their abilities and work with other passionate performers.
The CMEA’s (Connecticut Music Educators Association) program holds this competitive music festival each year for both vocalists and instrumentalists. KO has been involved with the Regional Honor Concert for as long as Creative Arts Department Chair Todd Millen can remember.
To join, students must audition with their choir, orchestra or band teacher. The audition process consists of a solo piece of the musician’s choice, scales, and sight-reading. There is not a huge time commitment, as students receive the music for the concert ahead of time. The musicians are expected to practice their given music on their own by the time of their performance.
However, the weekend of the performance is jam-packed. This year, the concert took place from Friday, Jan. 17 to Saturday, Jan. 18 at New Britain High School. The theme was love and its presence in different aspects of life.
This was Junior Sadie Margolis’s second year in the Regional Honor Choir. “I would 100% recommend it to other musicians,” Sadie said. “You make new friends who share your same passion, sing great songs, learn from well-known conductors, and make music.”
Sophomore Marrich Somridhivej experienced the concert for the first time in the Honor Orchestra. Marrich said he had a really great experience performing, although the pieces were sometimes challenging to play. At times, the music was so challenging he had to “fake bow,” a string instrument player’s equivalent of lip syncing.
While Marrich has been playing the violin for six years, he actually had less experience compared to his peers. “Most of the people in the regional orchestra had about 10 years of experience,” Marrich said, “so I was sitting next to people who were much more experienced than me and I learned a lot.” He said the Honor Orchestra really was a chance for him to play with talented musicians to up his own musical skill.
The Regional Honor Concert is a wonderful tradition that KO partakes in, and is a great opportunity for any musician who wants to push themselves to the next level.