Editor's note: As part of a project undertaken by a new media-broadcasting class at Reynoldsburg High School's Encore Academy, students were given the opportunity to enter stories in a contest for a chance to have their work published in ThisWeek Reynoldsburg News. The winning entry was written by freshman Frances White.
What's the difference between a band and an orchestra?
Many would respond with, "Aren't they the same?"
According to www.kpsd.org, a band is an ensemble of woodwinds, brass and percussion. An orchestra, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is a group of musicians who perform instrumental music using mostly string instruments.
The Reynoldsburg High School orchestra has been in existence for 45 years and is open to students in grades six to 12 and is currently directed by Katherine Vansant and Lorie Gaulke.
Over the years, the program has grown in size but is nowhere near as big as it should be, according to Vansant.
"We lose so many students at high school level due to scheduling," she said.
The RHS orchestra consists of only string instruments like violins, violas, cellos and basses. The students buy or rent their own instruments and are expected to come to class with their instruments in good playing condition.
They also are expected to attend after school-rehearsals and perform in concerts.
One of the difficulties for the orchestra is scheduling, Vansant said.
"Scheduling is my biggest obstacle, even more than more than money," she said.
Vansant and Gaulke both said they have trouble getting kids to practice. Beyond that, they said the goal is for students to be successful with their instruments and to be ready for next grade. Another priority for the orchestra is to be more visible in the community.
The orchestra participates in a number of events, including fall picnics, contests and a Christmas party for A Kid Again, an organization that benefits children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.
The booster group Bass parents of orchestra students help the program with money-making projects and getting providing doughnuts after every concert.
Students who will be in sixth grade next year should consider adding orchestra as an elective to their schedule.
"Be ready for hard work but lots of fun," Gaulke said.