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By Grace Borchert

Batavia High School has started a new orchestra class, Sinfonietta, for the 2015-2016 school year. Sinfonietta is a sophomore class where orchestra students have the chance to grow and prepare for the audition into one of the two orchestra classes, Symphony and Philharmonic. Students are placed in orchestras that they can grow the most, but many students try to get into the Philharmonic orchestra. Sinfonietta is trying to increase student’s chances into being able to play in the Philharmonic orchestra.

I created Sinfonietta to help keep the class sizes smaller so that all students can receive more one on one attention,” said Orchestra teacher Nathan Sackschewsky. “I also wanted to make sure that student had an orchestra where they can feel success and grow as musicians.”

If this class wasn’t created and all the students who are in Sinfonietta now where put in Symphony it would be almost 50 students.

I think that having Sinfonietta really allows me to work with all of the students a little more, and really allows everybody to feel like they have a role in the orchestra,” Sackschewsky said. Students have to rely on themselves more on counting and rhythm because they have fewer students in their section.

In Sinfonietta, students are focusing on three-octave scales, a skill needed to audition into an orchestra next year. Other skills they work on is shifting up into the extreme positions in a number of etudes and the flexibility and dexterity of their bow holds. With a large range of abilities in the class, some students are more advanced than others and don’t have the chance to grow as much as others.

In all orchestras, not only Sinfonietta, all the musicians feel like a team. They need to work together to make music. In order to strengthen the orchestra as a team, the curriculum now has team-building activities to help the musicians work together.

Fiona Thurow, a violist in the orchestra, enjoys the time she gets to spend with her classmates during these games.

“The team building games that we play are very refreshing, and it just reinforces the community we have already created in Sinfonietta,” Thurow said.

Sinfonietta is helping students to work together and improve their skills on their instruments. If this orchestra class is a success and continues on then students can have time to grow before having to audition to Symphony or Philharmonic. Students and teachers alike hope that Sinfonietta will improve students’ chances into getting into a higher orchestra and refine their skills as a musician.

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