Even though I’m not graduating until the end of this month, a lot of my teachers have been taking care of end of the year things. One of those teachers is my orchestra director. Her brilliant end-of-the-year idea for this year was a “banquet” of sorts.

At this banquet, we got to eat food (fortunately) and listen to everyone who qualified for the State Solos & Ensambles String Instruments Competition… and the duet that my friend and I did at the Region Competition… Everyone else might have received a superior rating and gone on the state to receive  superior ratings, but Kaitlyn and I still got a superior rating…. just because it was a 1- instead of a 1….

I’m not actually in any way disappointed by this rating because last year my ensamble got a 3-, which is like saying, “Meh, you were okay.”

Anyway, we used this banquet as our awards assembly instead of doing it all at our final concert because our director really hates crying in front of 150 people. This had to have been my favorite awards assembly. I actually got a nice amount of awards that I’ve been working hard for four years to deserve.



The bottom piece of paper was an award given to me by the viola section called the “Best Faces Whilst Playing” award. This is why I never put videos of me playing my violin where my face is visible on the internet. It doesn’t really look pleasant…

The next award is a result of my lettering in Orchestra for this year. There was actually a lot of stuff I had to do for this one. The requirements were to take Orchestra all three trimesters during the year and then I also got those three little boxes at the bottom of the picture. One of them is the lettering pin, the other three are a bronze, silver, and gold star. I had to have repeated the requirements for lettering for every year I was in high school. This meant that I had to remember back over four years to all the things I’d done with the orchestra, which is what spurred this series of posts.

The Director’s Choice Award was given to a few of the students who had consistently shown up early to events to set up all our chairs. I always show up to things early, so I just always helped set things up.

The Certificate of Excellence was for participating in the Solo & Ensamble region competition.

The Outstanding Senior Musician Award was actually something that my classmates voted on. There are only five seniors in our Orchestra, so it wouldn’t have been too hard to get the majority of the votes, but I still feel pretty loved by those guys. We’ve been in Orchestra together since the sixth grade and it’s going to be hard to go to different colleges than ALL OF THEM next year. It’s actually kind of amazing how many different colleges we’re spreading ourselves out amongst.

For being a graduating senior, I got the pendant in the bottom left of the picture. I also got a letter from our director, but I stuck it on my bookshelf and didn’t want to go get it. It’s nice to go to an awards assembly where you actually get awards, you have no idea.

It’s a little hard for me to remember all the things I’ve done in Orchestra, but I’ll try.

I don’t remember a lot about the first year I played because I was learning after school and I didn’t know any of the people there. I don’t really remember any of the people who went except for a few who are definitely not my friends any more. My second year playing, I had to retake beginning orchestra because they wouldn’t let a 6th grader into the 7th grade class.

Between 7th and 8th grade, we lost a lot of our grade, though there were still probably ten. 8th grade was when Orchestra really got fun because we got to mix in with the kids who were a year older than us. This meant that the difficultly level of the music jumped up a step. The younger kids definitely struggled, but it ended up making us better players and we were used to hard work when we got to high school.

Our first year in high school was a little weird because our director was really sick and didn’t make it to school almost half the time and we were left to fend for ourselves. Fortunately, we had a few really awesome seniors who could handle us and we still learned a lot. My junior year was also really awesome because we had a few really fun seniors and the sophomores were willing to work, but still really fun. Our director probably didn’t think so, but we did a lot of crazy things.

This year has been a little bit different because our director has focused so much on taking us up a notch that we haven’t really had time to have fun together. There were also about a million and a half sophomores this year, which greatly out-numbers the five seniors and eight juniors. It’s been fun nonetheless. Orchestra is the only class that I’ve really felt ownership over. At the beginning of the year, I felt really at home in the school in general because I was a senior, but that faded away as I’ve had to focus on school, but in Orchestra I still feel like this year is mine. The feeling has been intensified by the fact that I actually got awards at an award assembly thing. I just never get that.

If you want to read the rest of this bizarre blogpost series, you can start HERE.