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The Demon Tattler

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The Demon Tattler

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The Demon Tattler

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A Violinist Shares His All-State Experience

A+Violinist+Shares+His+All-State+Experience

The term “Popejoy” is what many local musicians look forward to. The exceptional sound quality and unique design of this concert hall on the campus of UNM contribute to its fame. 

It was a Thursday morning in January when the Santa Fe High Chamber Orchestra left school to drive to Albuquerque for the Honor Orchestra performance. It was snowing, adding more excitement to the upcoming performance.

At around 10 a.m., we arrived at Albuquerque and went to Popejoy directly. Inside the building were many musicians who were heading toward their destinations. 

After entering the building, we unpacked in a rehearsal room and then sat in the audience to watch the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra rehearse. There were approximately 90 performers playing Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake Suite.” It was amazing; the sound they were creating was extraordinary. 

Toward noon, we went to have pizza for lunch at the nearby restaurant Farina Pizzeria & Wine Bar Downtown, and the food was delicious.

After lunch, the actual excitement began. We started preparing and rehearsing for the 3:15 p.m. performance. 

Then, we finally got on stage. My first impression was, Wow! Amazing! I could see nearly 2,000 people filling the seats. They were cheering and excited for our performance. My heart was pounding and my face was burning from anxiety. 

Everything went well; the performance was great, and everything felt fresh. We played “Petite Suite Beautiful Flowers,” by Yukiko Nishimura, and “Cycles of the Moon,” by Ayala Asherov. We managed to play through many issues that we faced in the past and adjusted to unexpected situations simultaneously, including some musicians entering early. 

When the performance ended, the audience gave us a standing ovation. People greeted us by complimenting how well we played, and photos were taken.

“It was an incredible honor for our orchestra to be chosen as the 2024 NMMEA All-State Honor Orchestra,” said Orchestra Director Mr. Tafoya. “I believe that we successfully proved to the entire state that we have a thriving and successful orchestra program at Santa Fe High School.”

For one of my classmates, Jaelynn Hernandez Navarrete, who plays the viola, the performance was enjoyable. “It was super fun! I honestly love ‘Petite Suite’ movements one, two, and four,” she said. 

Violinist Alexis Mutz said, “As a musician, it’s very easy to notice all the little mistakes we made and be hard on ourselves, but…I think that we sounded really good, especially for being such a small class.”

Although most members of the orchestra made it, some did not. One in particular, Maya Moktan, who was sick that day, said, “I am sad at not being able to make it, but am proud of everyone who was there.”

The experience was remarkable and will remain an important part of my youth. The people, the place, and the performance are unforgettable memories.

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