Preview: CA Orchestra’s Senior Project

10 Feb

Photo of CA Orchestra seniors by Susan McLachlan

By Sophie Borne 

This year's seniors have been hit hard due to the COVID-19 pandemic, causing many to turn to all virtual learning. I was curious as to what they have been up to and decided to take a look into the CA Orchestra program. As part of the CA track, orchestra seniors must complete a research paper and perform. Although the possibility of their performance is still in question, seniors have already begun their research paper. I interviewed three seniors, asking them two questions: What is your research topic and have you run into any difficulties? 

I first interviewed Chris Grey on his paper who has been playing the violin since 1st grade. “My paper aims to examine how access to music education and knowledge has been impacted by social, economic, and geographic factors. During the research process, I have gained a better appreciation for the music that we have played throughout my four years on the CA track. It is one thing to play the music but when reading analysis papers on what composers made the stylistic choices that they did you gain a new outlook on music.” 

Next, I talked to Amaya Burrell, second chair violinist. “I am writing an analysis paper on instances of Black and brown women’s empowerment in Beyoncé’s work. I took a lot of inspiration from the visual images found in her production, Black Is King, but, more specifically, Brown Skin Girl. My education is one of the most important things in my life, so I want to give it my all in every assignment— especially this paper.” 

Finally, I interviewed Ragan Cole who has been playing the violin for eleven years. “My paper is about the hip hop and rap industry and how different forms of technology such as production studios and social media help influence music. I’ve run into some difficulties like finding reliable sources to write with and just overall finding topics that are good to write about. I’ve overcome them by working harder and finding better sources.” 

It appears these senior students are well on their way with their paper each with a different topic. Despite these unprecedented times, the seniors seem to be finishing their final year strong.

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