Ballard High School Chamber Orchestra named first runner up in The National Orchestra Cup
Ballard High School Chamber Orchestra was named first runner up in The National Orchestra Cup, held on March 3 in New York City’s Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center. Additionally, the violas won the award for best string section. The competition included both chamber orchestras and full orchestras from public, art magnet and private schools across the country.
The Ballard High School Chamber Orchestra was one of ten high school orchestras in the country to be invited to perform at The Orchestra Cup National Orchestra Championships, a prestigious annual event that recognizes the top school orchestras in the nation. This was the first time that a Ballard High School orchestra had been selected for the event. Ballard High was selected based on their performance at the American Strings Teachers association (ASTA) festival in Tampa, FL, two years ago. The performances at Lincoln Center are adjudicated by renowned orchestral professionals and educators from around the nation.
The students, under the direction of Orchestra director Brittany Newell, performed the entire Shostakovich Chamber Symphony, op. 110a, from his 8th string quartet. The students were the only group to perform without a conductor. This piece, composed in July 1960, is dedicated to "The Memory of the Victims of Fascism and War.” The opening theme is an adaption of the composer's name to German sounds: (D-S-C-H), and arguably his most autobiographical work, as it contains numerous quotes from his other symphonies and concertos. The performance also featured two major solos: Junior Ethan Doshi on violin in the first movement, and Senior Ellery Haak on cello in the third and fourth movements.