Open Ears, Eyes, Minds and Hearts at Davies Symphony Hall
In January, Ms. Cekola and 22 Advanced Concert Ensemble and Percussion Ensemble students took a field trip to the beautiful Davies Symphony Hall in San Francisco. The day began with donuts and coffee in the lobby, followed by a 30 minute lecture and two hour rehearsal.
The Open Rehearsal featured the San Francisco Symphony playing Symphony No. 9 from the "New World" by Dvorak, and Piano Concerto No. 5, "Emperor" by Beethoven. The Open Rehearsal format is just like a concert, but even more educational because the students could observe how the music evolved through practice. Rosemarie Compton ’17 said, “Seeing the professionals practice helped me understand that even with years of practice under their belts, even the best of musicians make mistakes. It's all a part of the process of learning and eventually perfecting a certain piece of music.”
The goal of the trip to the Open Rehearsal was to explore classic music and the professional musician. “It’s one thing to participate in our own high school rehearsal, and another to actually see some of the best musicians in the world rehearsing,” Ms. Cekola explained. “The dynamic of watching the conductor relate to the musicians is a learning experience. Respect, accountability, preparedness, skill and motivation are all key components we learn from watching the professionals practice.”
Ms. Cekola and SJND’s Art Department hope to inspire all students to become avid appreciators of the arts. The day concluded with lunch at In-N-Out Burger in Alameda, with some time to debrief and share favorite moments at the symphony. Theresa Killian ’18 shared, “The music was simply beautiful! The instruments are all quite different, but when they come together, the result is stunning.”