Chamber Orchestra Crescendos into LGPE Season


Jayden Stabler

Magnet sophomore Tali Porter, among others, practices diligently on her cello. All students in orchestra are eager to learn and practice in preparation for LGPE. “[Students] can’t play it any better than they are right now so they just have to go and have fun, leave it on the stage, and take every risk that they can to provide the audience with the best experience.” said Paula Krupiczewicz, orchestra teacher at NC.

Jayden Stabler, Reporter

NC’s Chamber Orchestra faced their biggest challenge yet when they performed at LGPE (Large Group Performance Evaluation), held inside Lassiter High School on Wednesday, February 14.

“Overall, I feel like we had a really strong performance, the musicality of the music really came out more than it did in practice for the past month. We played the best we ever have. Every year there’s a different group [in chamber orchestra] and different dynamics. This year we have lots of promising new talent, it’s just working on cultivating that,” Magnet senior violinist Danyel Cateau said.  

Large Group Performance Evaluation (LGPE), equates to an end of course (EOC) test for academic subjects, just a musical version performed mid-semester. All school orchestras, bands, and choruses from middle to high school, attend their district’s LGPE.

NC’s Chamber Orchestra departed from NC around 2pm Wednesday afternoon. Students took a bus to Lassiter High School where they would eventually perform in front of chosen LGPE judges.

Once the orchestra arrived at Lassiter, they moved to the stage in the auditorium to practice through warm ups and to rehearse before the actual performance. Students filled with nervous energy as their performance time approached.

The orchestra performed three varying pieces. They first performed Georg Friedrich Handel’s “Concerto Grosso Op. 6 No. 1” movements 1 and 2. The first movement embodied a short, dramatic, and solemn piece. The second piece contrasted with a more lively and upbeat tempo. The orchestra played Claude Debussy’s arrangement of “Clair de Lune” next, a slow, precise, and deliberate piece.

“Clair de Lune is very, very challenging to a high school orchestra because it’s so slow and very precise. That [piece] really measures our skill level. We did great on that one, that was the best we’d ever played at LGPE.” Magnet sophomore, Tali Porter said.

Antonin Dvorak’s “Themes from American Quartet” came last. This bold piece, littered with frequent tempo changes and a diverse range of notes, represents America as it seems to the world: loud, bold, and constantly changing.

“You don’t hear a lot of classical music, kind of ironically, when it comes to high school orchestras because they’re hard. These pieces were specifically picked because they’re energetic in some parts, they’re variable, “Clair de Lune” is soft and sweet and fun to play. It really just brings the best out of each section” junior cellist Nicholas Crafton said.

Following the exhilarating performance, students made their way to another room to sight read a piece never before seen or played by students. Orchestra students evaluated the piece and practiced it within a certain amount of time before performing.

LGPE judges grade performances based on tone quality, intonation, technique, balance (in the ensemble), interpretation (style, tempo/dynamics), musical effect (fluency), and general effect (choice of music, appearance). The scoring ranges from one to five: one stands out as superior and five represents inferior. NC’s chamber orchestra received straight superior ratings all around.

“I feel like we improved so much from the [North Star] concert we had the week before. It was a drastic change. We were making music on the LGPE stage, we were just playing notes at the North Star concert,” Magnet sophomore and violinist Catalina Andrade said.