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Family through music: The Xavier/Brophy Orchestra

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The Orchestra concert was a celebration of Christmas and community

The Orchestra concert was a celebration of Christmas and community

Alexandra Mesquita

Alexandra Mesquita

The Orchestra concert was a celebration of Christmas and community

Hannah Shulski, Club Writer

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Every year, the Xavier/Brophy orchestra has their annual Christmas concert, where parents and fellow students come to see the hard work the musicians have done during their first semester. The orchestra class itself is a tight-knit community that performs music and loves what they do.

“The best part of teaching music,” says Aquiles Figueroa, teacher and conductor of the Xavier/Brophy orchestra, “is seeing young people discover it for themselves.” Mr. Figueroa is new to Brophy’s teaching staff and has already begun to make some changes in the orchestra class, including the introduction of an Honors Orchestra performance group. Figueroa says that on the Dec. 8 concert, he wanted his students to “realize the skills that they have built since the beginning of the year.”

Juniors Payton Smith and Alexandra Mesquita are grateful for the friendships that they have made through the orchestra class. Smith says, “Orchestra is like a family to me.” Mesquita adds that she “enjoys playing with people of different ages and skill levels.”

One of the unique things about the Xavier/Brophy orchestra is that it is a class for freshmen through seniors that play at any skill level. Most youth orchestras are only for musicians of a certain skill level or standard. This means that in the Xavier/Brophy orchestra, there are student musicians who have just started playing and students who have been playing their instrument for multiple years.

During the Christmas season, the orchestra class participates in Elf Drive, which donates groceries and necessities to families in crisis. The students in the class donate money to the drive but also can actively participate in it by going to grocery stores and buying certain foods for the families. Brophy junior Karson Hawkins, a cellist in the orchestra, says that he appreciates that Elf Drive “gives us an outlet to help others in need, especially during the holidays”.

The class makes many memories together. Alexandra Mesquita says that some of her favorite moments in the class have been their Christmas parties and the WorldStrides Anaheim Heritage music festival that the orchestra competed in during March of 2016. The Xavier/Brophy orchestra will compete in the WorldStrides Anaheim Heritage Festival again this spring.

The Brophy/Xavier Christmas concert was the perfect celebration of the season and all that the orchestra represents: faith, family, and service to their community.

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Family through music: The Xavier/Brophy Orchestra