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One of the treats of December is the Winter Orchestra Concert—this year on Tuesday, December 13 at 7:00 p.m. at the John Jay Middle School Theatre. Enjoy performances by the 6th grade orchestra and the combined 7th and 8th grade orchestra, followed by the all-school Chamber Orchestra.
The Chamber Orchestra is one of John Jay Middle School’s performance clubs. It rehearses each Friday from 2:10 – 3:00 p.m. This ensemble is for students who already play a string instrument—most are also members of the school orchestra. New students are welcome to join in January.
“I love that the Chamber Orchestra is full of students who are choosing to have more music in their life,” said Mrs. Stroffolino, a music teacher at JJMS and conductor of the Chamber Orchestra.. “The kids who come just want to play more music and I love that!”
“Hear it, hum it, play it!” Mrs. Stroffolino reminds the musicians during rehearsal. She also helps the students convey the mood the composer had in mind. “What do you think the title A Gypsy Tale means?” she asks. “What is the feeling of this line of accented staccato notes?”
Many students don’t know that Mrs. Stroffolino didn’t play in her own school orchestra. “I was a band kid,” she said. “My primary instrument is the oboe. I still play with the New York Wind Symphony in Orange County, NY.”
The term chamber orchestra refers to smaller-sized string ensembles of violin, viola, cellos and double bass. JJMS’ Chamber Orchestra has 18 members. They will attend NYSSMA, the New York State School Music Association convention, in May. “We’ll play for adjudicators who will give us a score and comment on our performance,” said Mrs. Stroffolino.
The Chamber Orchestra will be performing two pieces at the Winter Orchestra Concert: A Gypsy Tale by Soon Hee Newbold, and Danse Russe, from The Nutcracker, composed by Pyotr Tchaikovsky.