Students share experiences from Senior District festival

Isabel Gitten and Jackie Stoller

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Zach Knapp

“[The group] was disciplined, but it wasn’t so strict that we were prevented from having any fun. Even though I was told to learn the music before going to the festival, I didn’t, so it was definitely harder to have to learn it with no prior knowledge. I learned more about other music programs in Massachusetts and what it is like to be part of a great chorus. No offense to [Honors Concert Choir].”


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Julia Hong

“The level of music was alright for all of us. Everyone took the rehearsals seriously, and we were able to make a grand performance at the end. I learned that you should do what you love to do. That’s why I play the violin.”




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Sarah Zhang

“I learned to be patient and have perseverance. When you prepare for the audition, you have to practice the piece a lot and that often means repeating a section over and over again until you can’t play it incorrectly. During the actual festival, on one day you have rehearsal for a total of seven hours. By the end of that day everyone is extremely tired, and you’ve heard the music so many times that even if you like it, you might have gotten tired of it.”



Derek Ho

“I think that the band was very disciplined about preparing the pieces for the rehearsal and very focused during the rehearsal itself. The pieces were difficult, but when everyone prepared beforehand we were able to focus more on the musical aspects during the actual rehearsal. I learned that it is important to persevere. After missing the cutoffs for districts in my freshman and sophomore years by a little, I felt discouraged, but I kept practicing and finally got in this year, which felt great.”



Kanming Xu

“The conductor was really nice and really fun to work with, so we listened to him and respected him. The music was hard, but it was fine because everyone there was skilled enough to play it. The final performance was electric. [I] didn’t really learn anything, but my cello kept slipping, so maybe next time [I’ll] bring a rock stop.”




Matt Ludwig

“One of the biggest things I took away from the weekend was that music is played in between the notes. In other words, the space and silence between the notes are just as important as the notes themselves. Our conductor definitely emphasized that just playing the notes wasn’t making music and that if we wanted to really make music, we had to look for the underlying intention of the notes and between them.”