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Orchestra shows out for Halloween Hauntcert

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The auditorium was filled with observers. Teenagers in costumes walked all around the dark room, mysterious notes emitted from the stage, and suddenly it was silent, as if Halloween had already arrived.

Orchestra teacher Laurette Reynosa started the Hauntcert at Bellaire in 2012 with a vision to give musicians an opportunity to play with other schools while following the Halloween theme. However, unlike traditional concerts, Reynosa asked 2 middle schools, Lanier and T.H. Rogers, to join the high schoolers on stage.

“It was kind of a recruiting event and it lets their students get to experience the school and sit next to our kids” Reynosa said.

Instead of separating the age groups, the students were all mixed among stands, middle schoolers playing alongside high schoolers rather than separated.

“When we did it before and we used to go over to Lamar they never got to play with the high school students because the high school students were off in a different section” Reynosa said.

Jessi Ji, a junior violinist in the Sinfonia orchestra, describes his experience at the Hauntcert.

“I thought it was fun and I thought it was cool to be able to work with the middle schoolers especially since I came here with T.H. Rogers with the Hauncert” Ji said. “It brought back memories so it was a cool thing to do and it was a great learning experience. It was fulfilling to be on the other side this time.”

Sophomore Connie Lin also reflected on her new perspective at the Hauntcert.

“The experience was interesting” Lin said. “I got to sit next to a middle school violinist and I was once a middle school violinist so it’s interesting to feel what it was like on the other side.”

Coming from T.H. Rogers Middle School, Connie had already played in the Hauntcert before coming to Bellaire but being in the Sinfonia orchestra gave her a new exciting achievement.

I did the Hauncert when I was in middle school for all 3 years and I always wondered what it would be like when I was in high school and now here I am.

After playing for 8 years, the two found that music was his passion and discovered he excelled. Playing the middle school music did not demand as much practice as he usually does and the orchestra learned it within a day.

“Although we didn’t spend too long on the music itself, I feel like the fact that we were able to produce this much music in such a short amount of time really is a reflection of how much all of us have worked really hard” Ji said.

Reynosa also noted that it wasn’t difficult for her musicians.

“They’ve been working on it for three to four weeks and we just went through it and put it together that evening” Reynosa said. “I think with my students they always step up their game on stage because they know that’s when it really matters so that’s when they really focus a lot more.”

In addition to the music, many of the players captured the feeling of Halloween by wearing costumes and playing tricks on others.

“We always choose pieces that fit in with the Halloween theme and of course the students get to wear their costumes and have a costume contest” Reynosa said.

Lin discusses her thoughts about the costume contest.

“There were a lot of creative people” Lin said. “My favorites were the bananas and Ms. Slavonic who was a tree.

Lynsey Slavonic, director of the T.H. Rogers orchestra wore a unique costume, dressing up as a tree. Players went around tapping their stand partners and running around on stage, which is unconventional in most performances.

“I really liked seeing the kids dress up” Reynosa said. “I wish more people would do it.”

Celebrating the night of Halloween was fun, but ultimately the experience in hours of practice is what makes an impact on each player. Lin describes how she feels about her violin practice.

“It’s been a long journey” Lin said. “There have been ups and downs.”

Whether the players represented their skills or just enjoyed a spook, Reynosa enjoyed

another year at the Hauntcert.

“I always feel very proud of them” Reynosa said.

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Orchestra shows out for Halloween Hauntcert