PNG image

Q&A with orchestra member Glory Zhang

Junior Glory Zhang, who has been a member of symphonic orchestra for three years, discusses the bonds she has formed in orchestra over her high school experience.

Q: Could you discuss the different levels of orchestra?

“There’s two classes when it comes to orchestra: there’s string orchestra and there’s symphonic orchestra. A difference between the two is the instruments that are in them. String orchestra is limited to string instruments, which would be the violin, the viola, the cello and the bass. Symphonic orchestra includes everything. There’s string, there’s woodwinds, there’s brass [and] there’s percussion.To get into symphonic orchestra, there’s usually just an audition.”

Q: What do you enjoy the most about being in orchestra?

“Orchestra is nice because sometimes playing music by yourself can be lonely and you’re a little limited on the range you can play. Playing with an orchestra can be fun just with the simple fact that you’re playing with other people and you can hang out with other people at the same time while making music.”

Q: Would you say that you made friends in orchestra? How did you do so?

“I definitely met a few people that I usually wouldn’t have and reconnected with a few friends from middle school who I did not talk to that much. The easiest way to make friends or connections in orchestra is [through] your stand partner, because you’re sitting next to them on a daily basis. If you don’t get along with your stand partner, it’s a little weird because you’re sitting next to them for an hour a day.”

Q: Why did you join orchestra, and what made you stay?

“I joined orchestra because I [am] a violinist. I played the violin before entering high school. What made me stay is [that] I’ve always been more drawn to the arts than I have to other fields. Music is something I’ve always been better at than academics. It’s nice meeting new people and it’s loud and bright and happy.”

Q: Can you talk about the time commitment for orchestra?

“Orchestra is zero period, so it starts at 6:50 in the morning. Other than that, it’s just daily zero periods. Orchestra doesn’t have that many concerts. For preparing for concerts, the week of [each one] we have a few later practices about an hour or two after school ends. We have a few assignments online which usually don’t take too long if you practice regularly. Overall, I wouldn’t say orchestra takes up too much time as a whole.”

Q: How do you think orchestra prepares its members for the future?

“[In] orchestra, seeing how it’s a class, there’s certain things we also have to maintain [such as] participation. If you don’t practice properly, you’re not going to do well on your assignments. Orchestra really stresses teamwork, whether you like it or not, because if you don’t do your part and help the group as a whole, it’s not going to sound nice. It really stresses reliability and dependability on yourself and the people around you.”

Q: What advice or comments would you give to people who want to join orchestra?

“I say it’s a fun experience. You definitely get to try out things that you’ve never done before. Orchestra accepts beginners as well if you’re interested in music and you don’t know where to start. In orchestra, we do a lot of fun music. We do different arrangements and we do concerts too. We do [one] at the end of the year, [with]holiday music. We do a movie music one, [and] that’s always something to look forward to. You get to hear people play cool stuff because orchestra has some pretty fun people.”

By Landon Park, Staff writer
Photo courtesy of Walnut High Orchestra