Santa Fe’s orchestra prepares for OSSAA contest


Maddie Bunn

Senior Danielle Dawson plays the bass in the most recent orchestra concert.

Kathryn Burkhart, Santa Fe Staff Writer

For the past several years, Edmond Santa Fe High School has hosted the annual Oklahoma Secondary School Activities Association’s (OSSAA) contest for orchestra. Orchestras from across the state prepare for weeks in advance to compete for a “Superior” rating for their performance. This is very healthy and a great opportunity for musicians as we work to prepare not only until we can

perform it correctly, but well enough that we cannot perform it incorrectly,” Santa Fe Orchestra teacher Christy Fine said. “This level of practice will carry over to our performances for entertainment and will create better musicians.”

High school orchestras must play two to three pieces for the contest judges. The second stage of the contest is sight-reading. The ranking scale extends for orchestra members from 1 (Superior) to 5 (Poor).

High school orchestras practice weeks in advance to perform the best they can for the judges of OSSAA. Junior cellist Trisha Dunlevy arrives early to school in order to rehearse with Santa Fe’s Symphony Orchestra.

“I love working with the members in my section,” Dunlevy said. “It’s really gratifying once we finish a piece we’ve been working on for a month.”

Preparing for contest is a strenuous but rewarding process. It improves a musician’s attitude towards their discipline, helping them explore new musical techniques.

“Playing in an orchestra is in and of itself encouraging, but I think all of us have some form of performance anxiety but performing in front of judges and other musicians really helps you improve,” sophomore violinist Joshua Zhu said. “Contest is nerve racking but its very beneficial once you realize how you have improved as a performer.”

OSSAA orchestra contest will be held at Santa Fe High School on Feb. 14 and 15. Santa Fe’s orchestra continues to work arduously on their pieces for contest, hoping to receive another Superior rating.