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A Kid's View
by Giovanni Venezia
A Life Changing Experience
Last month, I participated in the Clark County School
District Honor Orchestra. It was an amazing experience. I
benefited on so many levels, really strengthening my passion
for music. I was challenged, given something to “raise the
bar” to. The entire thing was life changing.
It was the first day of the school year. My orchestra
teacher told us all the events in the year, mentioning the
honor orchestra. Although, he strongly warned us the
difficulty and the skill level required to get into this orchestra.
The thought of even trying was at zero interest.
Paperwork to audition had been sent to the string
teachers around mid-September. My teacher presented the
paperwork to anyone who wanted to try out, and I told
him, “I simply want to audition just for fun, take a risk”. This
was quite a high risk. To even look at the short audition
excerpts hurt my eyes. I thought there was little chance of
acceptance. Although, I practiced hard with my first private
teacher, Whitney Hilton. I never gave up.
I auditioned, feeling I had done way better than expected.
Although, I was amazed a week later in realizing I had been
accepted. We received the music, and I was baffled at the
difficulty, the music being of high school level. The first
rehearsal came, and I couldn’t even play along. There was
immense stress, and I practiced hours with teachers,
recordings, and myself.
The week of the concert came. I practiced hard, and
the performance made me realize my passion for music, as
it was incredibly beautiful and fun (in the top 5 of these
types of Junior High groups in the country according to our
conductor). I got the pleasure of being under the baton of
Dr. Robert Gillespie, a string teaching hero in the eyes of
many. I want to thank the directors, Mrs. Barbara James
and Ms. Hekkert, as well as all my music teachers, Mr. W,
Mr. T, Mrs. Hilton, and Ms. Susan Barton (my new private
teacher). Although there was something one of the
conductors said that really got my attention. Music and
sporting brings people together. Music brought us young
musicians together, just for the reward of music itself. What
an amazing and powerful experience.

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