Orchestra students selected for elite ensembles


Orchestra students being conducted by guest teacher Jennifer Guffey. (Photo by Abby Zimmardi)

Abby Zimmardi, Staff Writer

Plano orchestra had 22 students make it into All-Region, which are ensembles composed of the best players in the region.
Students who made the symphony orchestra were Jocelyn Ho and Alexandria Cui, both on first violin. On second violin, Raymond Jow, Ben Juan, Sharon Zhang and Daniel Wang made it. Jarod Stone, Nisha Rajesh and Patrick Hayes made it on viola. Dylan Robertson made it on Bass.
The philharmonic orchestra results list David Wu, Kaylie Chen, Caitlin Zhu and Conway Xu on first violin. Henry Pai made second violin, and Bryan Yang made it on viola. Jonathan Heo made it on cello and on bass Daniel Davidson and Kieran Hsieh made it. The alternates for this orchestra are Stephanie Jeong, Patrick Yu and Brian Lee.
“I am so happy that all the hard work that I have been putting in paid off, and I get to play my instrument with many other people who share the same passion as I do,” senior violist Nisha Rajesh said.
Students have been preparing for the audition as early as May of last year to try and place in the top 24 spots for each instrument section of the orchestra. It is a long journey but gave students’ new experiences. The whole preparation process is just individual practice leading up to the audition. Once in the All Region orchestra, students begin preparing for a concert in December. The students that made All Region can also audition for the state level from there.
“We have one All-Region audition and that qualifies you for all of area, so if you’re in the top 24 violins, you get to tape for All-State,” senior violinist Daniel Wang said.
The schools involved in the region are Plano Senior, Frisco, and Prosper High School. Because of the high volume of students auditioning, that makes for many talented players, and tough competition. That is just a push factor for students to get even better.
“I have helped them prepare very little. I just told them about some master classes, but for the most part it is a very individual thing, individual project, individual preparation,” orchestra director, Brian Coatney said.
The majority of the prepping for All-Region is a learning process because it is all individual. It not only helps students get better at their instruments, but also causes self-discipline and good time management skills. Students gain these skills through the practice they put into the audition music.
“For an audition you have to be in tip top shape. That means scheduling your practice and figuring out where you want to be at what point, so when the audition comes you are at your peak,” Wang said.
There were students who were nervous for the audition process, but they had