GSO to visit Big Apple

Late every Wednesday evening, music fills the empty halls of South. A full ensemble of restless musicians continue to play their instruments late into the endless night, practicing their grueling pieces. This is the Glenbrook Symphony Orchestra (GSO) preparing for their upcoming Fall Concert, senior Andy Ko, first chair clarinet player, said. 

GSO is preparing for their 43rd annual Fall Concert on Nov. 20, which will be their first ‘normal’ concert since Covid-19, Ko said. Rehearsals for the Fall Concert consist of 150 Glenbrook North and South students in one large ensemble. In previous years, the orchestra had to be separated into two smaller groups due to Covid-19 restrictions, which led to two consecutive rounds of performances by the ensembles, Ko explained. 

“It might have been harder because we had a smaller group for the audience to see [the message of the music we were] trying to deliver because [of the] two different groups,” Ko said. 

Now that Covid-19 restrictions have eased, junior Mar​​y Grace Plante, fourth chair trombone player, said orchestra members have gotten closer and formed better bonds with each other. 

“I feel like we are all closer [now],” Plante said. “[I] didn’t get to interact with people in [past years] so it’s really nice to see everyone together for the first time in two years.”

In addition to preparations for the Fall Concert, GSO is primarily rehearsing Music of the Stage, a piece which contains nine different compositions ranging from the Nutcracker to Berlioz. The two GSO conductors have chosen each of these songs for their performance in New York, which will take place over spring break, Aaron Kaplan, Fine Arts Teacher and Orchestra Conductor at North, said. 

We [will be doing] a combined performance at Grand Central Station [in New York City and] a Broadway workshop where students will work with a Broadway conductor,” Kaplan said. 

This experience is all the more exciting this year after Covid-19 limited travel for these events in past years, Kaplan said. Students are ecstatic for this opportunity to perform in front of a large audience and to participate in such an event, especially because it gives them the chance to experience a musician’s life and showcase their fullest capabilities, Ko said.

“[This is] a musician’s dream come true, because we [can] do everything that a [professional] musician can do,” Ko said.