Orchestra Seniors Take Final Bow at Senior Night

Siblings, parents and friends gathered in the Kogelman for a smaller concert to commemorate the six graduating senior orchestra students on their various achievements, as well as hear each player perform a self-selected solo or duet piece.

The concert was more relaxed than a typical orchestra concert, and, although accompanied by the remainder of the orchestra, the concert was primary focused on the senior and their families.

The senior selections were either solos or duets. Some seniors decided to sing or play other instruments as well. It was a surprise for the director and some students, to showcase these musical talents as well, like such violin player Alana Devine, who sung and played Adele’s “Feel My Love” on piano.

“My senior selection was the first song I ever learned the accompaniment for on the piano, which was a huge milestone for me musically,” said Devine. “I taught myself how to play it with YouTube videos, and it took me about two months to actually get it to sound good. It makes me feel like I can do anything I really set my mind to.”

Other players chose to challenge themselves, with songs that displayed skills learned over the years in orchestra class.

“I choose [to play Bach at the senior concert]…because performing any Bach cello suites requires constant dedication and attention to detail,” said senior Nick Hogan, who has played the cello since seventh grade. Hogan will be attending the U.S. Naval Academy next year.

For senior Saifya Osei, who committed to Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, showed her true colors, singing and strumming a guitar. She acknowledged that graduation was exciting, yet bittersweet.

“I choose Wolf by Sylvan Esso (for my Senior Selection) because I love the vocalist Amelia Meath, and I felt it would go well with my voice!” Osei said.

Seniors know that the final year of high school can be very busy. For some, like violist Max Barrett, college applications include musical auditions. For his senior selection piece, Barrett performed a piece that helped him get into college.

“I chose was Telemann’s Viola Concerto in G major movement II…because I had already learned it for College auditions…also it’s just a fun piece to play,” Barrett said. Barrett hopes to study music at James Madison University, where he will attend in the fall. He has acknowledged his love for entertainment and his experience in orchestra class as being major factors regarding what he wants his future to look like.

Some pieces were more personal. Pia Fermin, who plays the violin, was accompanied by her brother on the piano, when playing the score to one of her favorite films, Howl’s Moving Castle. Fermin will attend Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond for Graphic Design in the fall.

“I’ve always found the song beautiful and love the movie, so it was an easy choice for a senior selection piece,” Fermin noted.

Duets, such as the piece that senior Doug Miller chose, stood out as a popular choice for senior selections at the concert.

“[My selection] allowed me to play a duet with Jeffrey [Petite-Freres] . It was a lot of fun,” said Miller.

Miller, who will be attending the University of Pittsburgh next fall, noted that graduation seems surreal and that he was going to miss all of the fun that he has had in orchestra.

Senior Jeffrey Petite-Freres is a violinist who has been a member of the symphonic orchestra since his freshman year and has participated in District orchestra, Solo and Ensemble, and the Washington Metropolitan Youth Orchestra for multiple years.

“I draw musical inspiration from my violin teacher, Ms. Day, and have studied under her since sixth grade,” he said.

The seniors thanked their Orchestra Director, Ms. Alicia Day, who has had a major impact on her students. They shared their favorite, and most hilarious memories with her over the years in the concert’s program.

“Ms Day is a great teacher, she’s a very constructive instructor and is always willing to help. She’s also willing to trade jokes and banter with us which really helped the chemistry of the group,’ said Fermin.

Overall the seniors shared excitement and nervousness for the years to come as they all plan to pursue different paths, music, education, and jobs. Most of the group has been playing together since middle school and would describe the tight-knit group of seniors as a family.

“Everyday, even outside of orchestra, we’re always smiling with each other, joking around, and just having fun in general. We’re all really good friends! I think I’ll probably miss them the most after graduation,” said Barrett.

Whatever comes their way, this group of seniors are ready for their future, with the experiences and friendships of West Potomac orchestra under their belt.

“We’re going off to do our own things after high school, but we’ll still have our experiences together in orchestra that will connect us,” added Miller.