String Day Review

Creating Harmony Between Schools & Students
String Day Review

The CMW Orchestra participated in String Day on February 6, 2024. String Day is an annual event that C. Milton Wright hosts as an opportunity to connect with string players of different ages. Fifth grade orchestra students from Harford County come to CMW to practice their music with high school students during the school day. Additionally, they get the opportunity to sit under the batons of middle and high school Orchestra Conductors, Stefan Antwarg and Jacob Weyand. 

These elementary schoolers spend a couple of hours on the stage of CMW’s auditorium, practicing their music with the help of high school string players stationed beside them. During this time, they learn more about what Orchestra class looks like in middle and high school and even have time for a Q&A with the high schoolers. After String Day’s daytime portion ends, they return to their schools by bus and prepare to return to the C. Milton Wright auditorium that evening for the concert. 

At the evening concert, the elementary schoolers began by playing their three pieces including “Samba la Bamba,” “Apollo Suite,” and “At the Grasshopper Ball.” They were joined by the high schoolers they practiced with that afternoon. Once they complete their music, the ninth grade Orchestra takes the stage to play their pieces. Then the upper-level Orchestra played a few pieces, concluded by a surprise song. For the second year in a row, the CMW Full Orchestra performed “The Adventures of Stringman”–called ‘String Girl’ by the Orchestra members. 

“The Adventures of Stringman” is a creative and interactive piece including improvisation, screams, laughter, and String Girl herself. Sophomore Abby Stott reprised her role from last year, donning a full costume and mask, and armed with a confetti popper. The song includes features from violin, cello, and clarinet solos, which were improvised by Thomas Dragunas, Brandon Stepp, and Alivia Pettiford. During their solos, they comedically struggled to play well, but after String Girl went by and popped the confetti over them, they could play a second solo without flaw. 

While String Day is a fun opportunity to perform music in front of an audience, it is also a great experience for younger string players to see how they could improve over time if they continued to develop their skills. String Day is a place for string players of different stages to learn with and from each other and show how growth can stem from hard work. 


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