The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

The award-winning voice of North Cobb High School in Kennesaw, Georgia.

The Chant

NC seniors prepare for their orchestral finales

Ivan Mendoza
Magnet senior Kameron Harvey practices for the upcoming orchestral renditions of music from iconic films such as “La La Land.” As the school year comes to a close, NC Orchestra members will perform at an upcoming concert in the Performing Arts Center. While numerous seniors count down the days until they join the ranks of their future universities, Orchestra seniors practice with their string instruments and prepare themselves for their final movements.

When it comes to discussions of music, people do not frequently highlight the beauty of orchestral music and its common appearances in modern tunes. From the symphonic introduction of Mac Miller’s “2009” to Laufey’s performances with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra to iconic movements from “Holst: The Planets”, orchestral instruments continue to resonate with young and old audiences. As the next generation of high school seniors count down the days until they walk the graduation stage, NC students in the Master Orchestra class practice diligently for their upcoming May 7 concert on the Performing Arts Center stage

Conducted by the eccentrically talented teacher Paula Bullen, known by her students as Dr. K, the May 7 concert will mainly feature orchestral renditions from classic movies. Notably, the upcoming event will contain covers from the Oscar-winning musical “La La Land.” As talented students work together to polish their performances before audiences watch them live, senior orchestra students want to ensure their final act will end with a bang. 

While NC seniors dressed up as kindergarteners April 29 for Senior Week, magnet senior Kameron Harvey grabbed her violin during 3rd period and began an interpretation of “Mia & Sebastian’s Theme.” With bright stickers draped over her face, Harvey focused on her sheet music and seamlessly swayed her bow over her string instrument. Regardless of her childish outfit, Harvey recently committed to Mercer University with a scholarship and plans to major in Computer Science. Despite her computing goals, Harvey’s admiration for orchestra runs deep as she constantly listens to Bridgerton Quartets and Laufey, and she plans on playing orchestra in the future. 

Magnet senior Niobe Ruiz-González played at second violin for the movement, but during her first trials, she fumbled with her bow and suddenly felt nervous. When Dr. K asked if she needed help remembering her notes, Ruiz-González stated that she did not, but she feared she would play the wrong notes. However, the magnet senior has always worked diligently and lives a fearless life. From joining the magnet program to visiting Japan to committing to California State University, Fullerton with a double major in Computer Science and Cyber Security, Ruiz-González knows how to take risks and succeed while doing so. After Dr. K reassured her that she would perform well, the senior picked up her bow and played her instrument with ease.

“Orchestra and music have given me a better outlet to express myself as well as provided me with a community of people to lift up and support me. I’ve loved the violin since 5th grade, and I remember asking my music teacher to start a strings club so I could play as soon as possible. I really enjoy playing, especially with other people who love doing the same so I don’t think I’ll ever stop. I’m planning on pursuing private lessons in college so hopefully that happens,” Ruiz-Gonzalez said. 

After the kindergarten-attired magnet seniors finished their solos, the movement transformed and every student collaborated for their “La La Land” rendition. With magnet senior Lily Stooksbury on the viola sitting close by magnet senior Kesh Harmes and the cello, the string musicians meshed their talents and refined their performances repeatedly until near perfection. With Dr. K leading the charge, the orchestra teacher hopes that their practice will encourage them for May 7 and future orchestral pursuits. 

“Orchestra has taught me how to listen with others and collaborate to achieve something great. It’s important to be a leader in your section and set an example, and in order to do that, you have to listen to your fellow musicians. Without orchestra, I would lack a certain spark in my life. It’s my favorite class—I love the people and the sound we create. Music is already something I absolutely adore, like cannot go five minutes without listening to it, so to be able to create it is really special,” Stooksbury said. 

After the curtain closes on May 7 and seniors put away their string instruments, several of them plan on attending college while pursuing musical endeavors. For example, senior Miguel Flores-Padilla plans on attending Northwestern University to follow his dreams of music education. Stooksbury recently committed to Sewanee University and hopes to double major in International Studies and Environmental Studies, while also hoping to continue orchestra during their college years. Hermes will attend Berry College with an International Affairs major and violin player Kale Mullins will dive into Business Administration and Management at Emmanuel University. Other orchestra seniors such as Aaron Wilson and Abigail Gonzalez will continue their education at Kennesaw State University

As the orchestra classes at NC improve their movements and grow in their ability to play their instrument, The Chant wishes them the best for their upcoming concert. After the seniors throw their caps into the air during their graduation commencement May 23, The Chant also hopes that each senior will pursue prosperous careers in their future.

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About the Contributor
Ivan Mendoza
Ivan Mendoza, Page Editor
Ivan Mendoza is a senior at NC and has been a part of The Chant staff since 2022. Since his adolescence, he always pursued reading and writing and felt that The Chant provided the perfect outlet for him to write about whatever he wanted. From music reviews to thorough investigations to award-winning documentaries, Mendoza is not afraid to expose his thoughts and opinions on the world around him. Whenever he’s not writing for The Chant, Mendoza is either filming a video, biking or wasting his entire paycheck on amazing novels, memoirs or superb vinyls. Find him on Instagram at @ivans.interludes.  

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