Orchestra will perform movie, video game tunes

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Members of the Shawano Community High School orchestra rehearse the “Avatar” suite Thursday morning at the school. The orchestra will perform songs from video games and movies at the 38th annual Golden Strings concert next week.

Leader Photo by Lee Pulaski Jessica Nead concentrates as she rehearses the “Avatar” orchestral suite Thursday morning at Shawano Community High School. This will be the 38th year that the school’s orchestra has performed its Golden Strings concert for the community.

There are two things you can count on when the Shawano Community High School orchestra puts on its fall concert — the students developed the theme, and there are strings attached.

The 38th annual Golden Strings concert will take place Nov. 3-4, and this year’s theme is “Media Overload.” The group’s seniors came up with the idea for the concert, which will showcase songs from popular video games and films.

“We chose the idea for this at the end of last year,” senior Connor Angeli said.

The first half of the show will be dedicated to video games such as “Starcraft,” “Minecraft,” “Advent Rising” and the classic “Tetris.” After intermission, the show shifts to film scores from “Pirates of the Caribbean,” “Lord of the Rings,” “Harry Potter” and more.

“We’ve never done (themes from) video games before, and I thought it would be something new to try out,” senior Kendra Griesbach said. “With the movies, we didn’t want to do just Disney movies because we’re kind of used to that. We wanted to try something new.”

Griesbach and Angeli both noted that last year’s Broadway-based theme included a lot of Disney film scores, as the franchise has seen many films such as “The Lion King” become live shows.

“Some of the songs are pretty challenging,” Angeli said. “No matter what theme we chose, the songs would have been challenging, but they still sound great.”

Senior Elijah Albertson noted that there will be one song in the concert that is not actually in the movie itself.

“‘Avatar’ didn’t come from either the movie or a video game,” Albertson said. “It’s written like it would be in either one of them.”

The orchestra has been working on the songs since the beginning of the year, and the show is starting to jell well, according to senior Racheal Hutchcraft.

“We’re trying to go through and fix as we go along,” Hutchcraft said.

The theme that the seniors have found particularly challenging is from “Tetris,” a Russian folk melody called “Bon Voyage.”

The orchestra is eager to put on a show that lets audiences see what a strong and cohesive unit it can be.

“I just really like being with people. It’s just the most social out of any of my classes,” Angeli said. “We just get to talk a lot of more, and it’s all about the music.”

“There’s just a sense of community,” Hutchcraft added. “Everybody just kind of functions together.”


WHAT: 38th annual Golden Strings concert

WHEN: 7 p.m. Nov. 3-4

WHERE: Auditorium, Shawano Community High School, 220 County Road B, Shawano

ADMISSION: $7 adults, $5 students and seniors. Tickets available at SCHS office or at the door.

FYI: There will be a 50-50 cash raffle both nights to support the orchestra program.