Orchestrally Speaking: AHS Orchestra

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American Heritage School

The Lyceum Philharmonic Spring Concert at Thanksgiving Point Gardens

Chloe Morrill, Managing Editor

Imagine for a moment: you walk onto the stage in the Rec Hall, the house lights are down, but you can tell there are a lot of people sitting in the audience. You are followed by other musicians and you take your places in a half circle, the lights from the stage beating down on you in your black clothing. You sit patiently as Kayson Brown walks onto the stage to thunderous applause. He acknowledges you and the audience and turns around, raising his arms. Instruments lift around you…. and you begin.
This is the reality of students in the Lyceum Philharmonic multiple times each year. All of the rehearsal time and all of the at-home practice has paid off and the orchestra comes together to create beautiful music.
The Lyceum Philharmonic only accepts the best of the best from grades 9-12. After all, “The Philharmonic hit the top of the Billboard Charts and was featured on PBS with The Piano Guys, recorded for SONY Masterworks with Lexi Walker, and has been viewed over 100 million times on YouTube! This youth ensemble recently released its fourth commercial album which reached No. 7 on the Billboard Classical Charts. Named “Best Orchestra” by Best of State Utah for ten consecutive years, these accomplished young musicians come from more than 30 schools across the state of Utah” (About the Orchestras – american-heritage.org).

American Heritage School
Steven Sharp Nelson with the Lyceum Philharmonic

Believe it or not, despite rehearsals and many concerts being held at our school, only four students from AHS are in the Lyceum: Garrett Jenson, Karina Miner, Cydney Quinn, and Olivia Washburn.
Garrett Jenson plays the violin in the Lyceum. “The music we play is so fun and Kayson, our director, is so engaging. He knows all of our names. It’s fun to be able to work together and make something turn out so well and so fast. It’s overall just a great experience. And their mission is to make you love music more.”
Karina Miner plays the cello in the Lyceum. “I love Lyceum so much. There are some parts that are hard, like the music because sometimes you’ll be handed a symphony and it’s literally the hardest thing you’ve seen in your life, but that actually makes it super fun because then you can challenge yourself and it’s so rewarding to be able to play it. And not only play it, but sound good with other musicians that care about it as much as you do. You work with professionals and you’re expected to be professional, but it is a lot of fun and you have to practice because if you don’t, you’ll be very, very sad. You should join it.”
Cydney Quinn plays the viola in Lyceum. “It’s a huge commitment, but it’s pretty awesome because you’ve got awesome music and there’s a lot of opportunities for students. We do a concerto night and it gives you the opportunity to feel like what it feels to play in a huge, professional orchestra.”
Olivia Washburn plays the violin in Lyceum. “The music that we play is really fun and it’s hard, but once we’ve mastered it, it’s really fun to play. I have a lot of really good friends there. If you play an instrument, you should definitely audition for the Lyceum program because you’d have a great time.”