A senior send off filled with senior solos

At orchestra’s winter concert seniors played solos that they had been perfecting for months


Thomas Lohman

Senior Ariana Saphire begins playing her senior solo, captivating the audience with her beautiful tone. Months of practice led her to this moment.

Thomas Lohman, Reporter

As the orchestra frantically played the “Hoffmeister” piece behind her, on Dec. 18 senior Elena Klenk counted down the measures until her viola solo would begin. A culmination of eight months of work would boil down to this ten-minute long solo. It was her time to shine.

While this may seem daunting to most Highlanders, it is commonplace in the orchestra and is a tradition dating back many years.

“Basically there’s a tradition where seniors get to perform a solo with the orchestra accompanying them,” Klenk said.

In order to have this opportunity, Klenk had to audition for the orchestra instructor, Starlet Smith. The practice required to make it through the audition and the performance made the experience, once it had come to an end, all the more rewarding.

“My favorite part was the end,” Klenk said. “The audience clapping and cheering is the most rewarding part and it really proves what a good job you did.”

While Klenk thinks the performance went well, she believes that there is always room for improvement.

“I had a couple mess-ups here and there,” Klenk said. “But generally I think it went well.”

In what is the cornerstone ending moment of a McLean orchestra student’s career, memories of her time spent at McLean flooded Klenk shortly after her performance.

“Although I’m excited to advance my musical career in college, I’ll miss working with close friends and Ms. Smith on all sorts of music,” Klenk said.