LAHS Symphonic Orchestra earns All-State honors

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Los Alamos High School Symphonic Orchestra, directed by Michael Gyurik was selected as the 2011 New Mexico All-State Honor Orchestra. The 28-member group performed a concert on Jan. 6 at Popejoy Hall on the University of New Mexico campus.
Popejoy seats more than 2,000, and the hall was full. LAHS Symphonic Orchestra played Gustav Holst’s “St. Paul’s Suite for String Orchestra.” It was a performance of all four movements. Concertmaster Jin Park and principal violist Alisa Romero played the solos. The orchestra ended the concert with a performance of “Hoedown from Rodeo,” by Aaron Copland, after which the audience gave the musicians a standing ovation.
The orchestra was selected as Honor Orchestra in a blind audition. Every January the New Mexico Music Educators Association, hosts an All-State conference and in-service at UNM. Honor groups are chosen from around the state in band, orchestra and choir. Gyurik sent in a CD recorded by the orchestra during the 2009-2010 school year. The CDs are judged by independent judges, usually from out-of-state.
Last summer Gyurik heard the news that Symphonic Orchestra was chosen as the 2011 Honor Orchestra and the preparation began.
“This was a project we started as a class in September. We worked hard — all the way to January, even over the break,” Gyurik said.
Principal cellist Dalton Smith added, “We just practiced, practiced, practiced like crazy!”
This is Dalton’s second year in the Symphonic Orchestra.
Charles Sherrill, senior and principal bassist, said that everything came together. “We definitely pulled it off,” he said.
 Junior and principal second violinist, Vickie Wang added, “It was really exciting. The best part was sharing the experience with everyone in our orchestra, because we are like a close-knit family.”
In addition, Los Alamos High School Orchestra students are traditionally well represented at All-State, and this year was no exception. Thirteen out of 28 symphonic students auditioned and were chosen to perform in the 2011 All State Orchestras.
Guyrik said it’s really “satisfying to set a goal and meet it with such enthusiasm — and peak on the night of the performance! It couldn’t have been any better! I’m proud of all the students.”