About 120 high school students are making their way to Ohio University to participate in the annual Honor Choir and Orchestra Festival.
The annual event will take place over the weekend with a performance Sunday in Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium at 3 p.m.
“This is the most important recruitment tool to introduce our school to prospective students,” Steven Huang, director of orchestral activities, said. Huang traveled around the state to different high schools to listen to students audition.
The concert may happen at the beginning of the semester, but that is not an issue for the high school students performing. They have all rehearsed for months, and there will be more rehearsals once they arrive in Athens to polish off the piece.
“It is difficult to plan over the gap of the break,” Huang said. “Everything really got going a week before we got back (to school).”
The high school students audition months before the festival and practice on their own to prepare for the concert.
“Since they are high school students, it doesn’t matter as much since they have been rehearsing,” Huang said about having a concert early in the year.
The Honor Orchestra has about 50 high school students performing, while the Honor Choir has around 70.
“They are separate concerts, but they are parallel groups,” Huang said.
OU students participating in the event receive their music at the beginning of the school year and start rehearsing soon after.
“We have had most of last semester and one rehearsal this semester,” Jack Berry, a graduate student studying music, said.
The music that is chosen is much harder than the high school students are used to in their programs, Huang said.
“They get to perform a piece they wouldn’t normally be able to play,” Huang said. “Accomplished high school musicians want to perform but don’t have the means to do it.”
Many of the OU students helping with the concert are excited for the experience of working with younger students.
“I think it will be a good experience, especially for the kids in high school since some of the pieces aren’t exactly easy so it’s good for them to have exposure,” Shelby Carico, a graduate student studying trumpet performance, said.
Some OU students will help teach during rehearsal and play alongside the high schoolers during the concert.
“It’ll be fun,” Barry said. “It’s a good opportunity to work alongside younger kids and for them to have mentors.”
Clarification: The story and headline have been updated to clarify that high school students make up a majority of the Honor Choir and Orchestra