Orchestra takes second in TMEA competition


Eilidh McGarva

Rehearsing at the end of the 2016-17 school year, the orchestra placed second in the TMEA Honor Orchestra competition with results announced during summer. The orchestra finished one point out of first place.

Megan Lin, Editor-in-chief

Summer break meant good news for varsity band and orchestra as they were ranked second in the TMEA Honor Orchestra competition. The two groups teamed up last fall to compete in the statewide competition.

“Arguably, the TMEA Honor Orchestra process is the most difficult in the country,” orchestra director Julie Blackstock said. “So to compete is knowing that you’re competing against people of the highest level, and to win or to come into second place means that you are practically of a professional caliber orchestra in this state.”

Second by one point, Blackstock was not disappointed in the student’s performance.

“I was more confident and more proud of this recording and this orchestra than of any in my previous 19 years of teaching,” Blackstock said. “I do not think that a better recording has been submitted by Liberty orchestra for any other competition prior or by myself after 19 years of teaching. I am incredibly proud of the students’ performance and it will honestly be something that I remember for the rest of my career.”

It’s a sentiment echoed by junior Vaishnavi Anna.

“I feel proud of us for coming so far as to placing second,” Anna said. “I feel challenged to work even harder this coming year in orchestra and I have motivation for us to place first.”

Falling just one point short of first place, Blackstock’s expectations are still the same.

“To require excellence and demand excellence doesn’t change from year to year, just to win a competition or not,” Blackstock said. “I hope that the students won’t be terribly disappointed and still be willing to work hard but my approach as always would be to make the very best music that we can and to have great musical experiences together.”