Band and Orchestra in Harmony

Members of the Pride of Elkhorn band laugh as they work through a challenging piece of music with guest artists from the Omaha Symphony.

By Andrew Aulner

IMG_0797The Elkhorn High School band members sought to sharpen their skills with a visit from the Omaha Symphony Orchestra on Thursday, March 27. This is the second consecutive year in which the Elkhorn band has played with the orchestra. According to band director Matt Rom, “only six schools get this opportunity each year.” The event is relatively difficult to arrange; Rom said, “There’s a lot of scheduling that goes into it, and it’s fairly expensive, so funding is another reason we can’t have this every year.” The session, which began at eight o’clock, lasted approximately three-and-a-half hours, with the first hour spent on the band members getting accustomed to the conductor’s unique style and the remaining time spent with the orchestra musicians joining in.

One symphony member played with two to three students to “work through the music,” as Rom said. Senior Madeline Eldridge enjoyed working with the musicians, saying, “We learned to play more efficiently.” As to the actual content of the musical event, the student-symphony joint group practiced band pieces for the upcoming District Music Contest, including compositions like “Take Off”, which imitates the sound of a plane taking flight, and Holst’s “First Suite in E-flat,” the first concert piece ever written for wind band instruments. Rom described the DMC music as “some of the most intricate music we’ve played all year,” making it ideal for the band to play alongside professional musicians.