If you’re a current subscriber, log in below. If you would like to subscribe, please click the subscribe tab above.
Username and Password Help
Less than a week prior to the start of the spring competition season for the Scotland County music program, the students were silenced by the Coronavirus pandemic that ultimately led to the cancellation of the remained for the 2019-20 school year.
“When school was first canceled, we were one week away from large ensemble Festival” he said. “I remember that last rehearsal ending and thinking the band is almost ready We had improved so much over that week. It was such a shame to not realize that may be our last time to play together as a group.”
The closure cost a number of seniors a final chance to showcase their talents at state competition.
“Avery Shultz has received a I on her solo her freshman, sophomore, and junior year at districts but had yet to achieve the gold medal at State,” said Orr. “I had no doubt that she was poised to obtain her goal this year.”
Mr. Orr noted that Jaden McAfee had also received a I rating on her solo last year and had put in many hours of hard work already preparing for state.
“She would have put on a masterful solo for sure,” he said.
Little did they know that when the Scotland County R-I band took the stage for a Christmas concert at the end of 2019 it would be the final official performance together for many of the band’s senior members.
Shultz, McAfee and fellow senior Claire Hite founded the woodwind quartet called “The First Ladies” this year along with junior Clara Davis.
“They play really well as a group and their quartet was one of many good things I would hear when practicing,’ said Orr. “I did not have to take time to help them because they are all very fine musicians.”
Shultz was also in a flute trio with Davis and Bryn Aylward.
“The is an unwritten tradition in the flute section to have a flute ensemble featuring a mix of under and upperclassmen,” said Orr. “Avery was in one when she was a freshman with Sadie Davis and Alyssa Clair, so she wanted to continue the custom of the flute section.”
Hite and fellow seniors Katie Feeney and Micah Cooley were part of a vocal quartet, along with Davis.
“They had some great music to perform, a fun A Cappella number and a sweet, loving, ballad,” said Orr. “They were just beginning to get their parts down and hearing how well their voices blend together.”
Feeney had two fast-paced and exciting solos almost ready to perform at competition.
“She had put in multiple hours of preparation,” said Orr. “I knew she was going to do well and that the audience was going to enjoy her performance.”
Another senior, Christian Siver, had a very challenging four-mallet marimba solo to prepare.
“He is not afraid of trying to tackle hard literature and he was close to being over the hump,” said Orr.
The band instructor also highlighted the efforts of senior Reilly Shoemaker for working with all the students.
“He was always encouraging others to do their best,” said Orr. “He was a little director this year since it is impossible for me to get around to everyone.”
Trumpet player Eric Yarbrough is another senior that will miss the opportunity to compete one final time.
“Eric had improved so much since he joined band his sophomore year,” said Orr. “He was in a trumpet quartet with three freshmen. Once we found the right piece for the group, the ensemble began to take off. He did not know it, but I am pretty sure they had a shot at receiving a one at districts.”
While the band was senior laden, Orr said his choir program was very young, with over half being freshmen with little to no singing experience.
“We had many former members drop the course due to class conflicts,”‘ said Orr. “However, over the year, they have improved to become one of the best choirs I have directed at SCR-I.
The instructor noted that much of the credit goes to the seniors who taught the freshman how things were done.
“It has been many years since the Choir has received a I rating, coming close the past two years,” said Orr. “This year could have been the one.
The choir had just ordered new robes and tuxes for their performances, but those will have to wait to be debuted another time.
Seniors Erica Yarbrough, Christian Siver, and Jada Miller all have similar stories. None have received a I rating at districts for a vocal solo.
“All three were very close to achieving that feat last year,” said Orr. “All three were doing well in preparations for this year. I’m sure one if not all would have gotten over the hump this year.”