Region Orchestra Amid a Pandemic


Alexis Pubentz, Staff Writer

Kingwood High School Orchestra has been participating in TMEA Region XXXIII Orchestra auditions for countless years where orchestra students prepare complex etudes and audition together at a local high school. However, the COVID-19 pandemic has brought many new challenges to KHS orchestra students auditioning for region. While students typically get a head start on the music over the last several weeks of the school year, this year’s circumstances required many students to begin learning at home by themselves, with only online tutorials as their guide. These help sessions, typically in-person throughout the summer and fall, were held via zoom, further challenging orchestra students as they tried to navigate through internet struggles and the challenges of learning such complex pieces on their own. Finally the audition process presented an additional as it was held completely virtual for the first time ever. Each student submitted two recordings of themselves to audition for TMEA’s Region 33 Orchestra. 

While the pandemic brought many challenges to KHS orchestra students, they continued to practice and work hard each day. This year 56 students made region orchestra, 27 students in Philharmonic and 29 in Symphony. Kingwood High School Orchestra has continued their longstanding tradition of excellence amid a pandemic with 2 more students making it than the 2019-2020 school year and the highest number of students making region out of the entire UIL Region 33, which consists of 5 school districts. Even though these students have not had the traditional region experience, their hard work has continued to pay off despite this year’s all but normal circumstances.