High school students in Newark, Ohio form their own symphony orchestra

Posted on: December 16, 2021

Austin Frias, a Newark High School senior, conducts the Newark High School Symphony Orchestra’s holiday concert. Photo: Seth Roy/Newark City Schools

“The red curtain opened to a combined group of strings, horns and percussion instruments that hadn’t existed at Newark High School in at least 25 years,” writes Seth Roy in Wednesday’s (12/15) Newark Advocate (OH). “The Symphony Orchestra—a combination of strings, wind, brass and percussion instruments—began practicing after school in November. Their hard work paid off with a performance of ‘Sleigh Ride’ during the orchestra and choir’s combined holiday concert earlier this month. ‘This group is entirely student-led, entirely student rehearsed and put together,’ Orchestra Director Ashley Rudd said…. ‘They’ve given their own time after school.’ … A student approached Rudd and band director Lee Auer earlier in the year to ask about putting together a combined group, which isn’t currently possible during the school day due to the two directors’ opposing schedules and shared classroom space…. Austin Frias, NHS senior and drum major in the Pride of Newark Marching band, is the student who first approached Rudd and Auer with the idea of starting the symphony…. The group expects to continue rehearsing throughout the year, with the goal of performing during the spring concert and growing beyond the current school year.”