Feature on Orchestra


Anna Manthei, Editor

Music is a means of communication beyond words, and Esperanza is known for its successful music programs, however many do not know that the school also has an orchestra that performs throughout the year. The orchestra is divided into two groups, the String Ensemble, and the competitive Sinfonia Orchestra, with Concert Orchestra being a combination of the groups, both of which meet during zero period each week. Mr. Fang, the conductor of the EHS orchestra, “grew up playing the violin,” because music was a way for him to express himself, and continues to be an “important part” of his life that he wishes to pass down to his students. Music was his “safe space,” and it helped him get through the time in his life when he first “immigrated to the United States and couldn’t speak English well.” Mr. Fang enjoys teaching orchestra because students can “learn to connect and understand each other” through the “special medium” that is music. He loves “the sound of the strings” and being able to hear “students discover the magic of the string world” during each rehearsal. One of Mr. Fang’s favorite memories from teaching orchestra was “hosting the holiday breakfast concert in December for the faculty.” This is a special concert hosted every year, where teachers “get to see the students perform,” and then “interact with the students afterward by having breakfast together.” The EHS orchestra still has many performances coming up, including the “annual Disneyland performance trip,” and the “annual SCSBOA festival,” which is a concert where “students perform at the performing arts center,” then receive a “rating for their performance,” which Esperanza almost always scores very high in. One of the particularly exciting performances the orchestra has coming up this year is the “state conference hosted by the CMEA, which is the California Music Educator Association.” The conference is hosted at “Sonoma State University in Northern California,” and is a highly prestigious event, as groups are selected through a competitive “audition process.” This event is particularly special for Mr. Fang because out of the very few middle schools chosen for the conference, the Travis Ranch Middle School orchestra was accepted, a group that Mr. Fang also teaches. Esperanza is lucky to have Mr. Fang as its orchestra director, and both his current and future students look forward to participating in his class for years to come!