Orchestra Pre-UIL Concert


Nikhil Gupta, Editor in Chief


On February 21, 2023, the Canyon Vista Orchestra will have its Pre-UIL concert at the Raymond E. Hartfield Performing Arts Center (colloquially referred to as the PAC). As the name suggests, the concert is their concert to prepare for UIL. The Canyon Vista Orchestra is known for consistently getting 1’s (the highest possible score) at the UIL competition. 

Philharmonic Orchestra


The Canyon Vista Philharmonic Orchestra is an orchestra composed of seventh and eighth-grade students. The Philharmonic Orchestra will play three pieces at 6:30 P.M.


Jupiter Theme by Holst 


This piece is from Gustav Holst’s “The Planets”. The Jupiter Theme is a piece that is pretty famous. The piece would later become the melody behind “I Vow To Thee, My Country”, a British patriotic hymn. You can find a recording of this song here.


The Mask (David Hinds)

The Mask is a piece composed by David Hinds. David Hinds is unlike most of the other composers of these pieces, as he has taught band and orchestra at schools in Texas. Hinds has also been an adjudicator for UIL Orchestra Contests. A link to this piece can be found here.


“One piece that excites me, is I’d say the mask, because the beat that we have and the sound overall sounds really good. It’s really catchy.” Ritvij Sharma (8) said.


Terra Nova  (Richard Meyer)


Terra Nova is a piece composed by composer Richard Meyer. Meyer is a renowned Californian music educator and composer. A link to Terra Nova can be found here


More about David Hinds can be found here

Listen Here


Chamber Orchestra


The Canyon Vista Chamber Orchestra is composed of mostly seventh and eighth-grade students, as well as some talented sixth-grade students. 


Variations on a Well-Known Sea Chantey 


This piece was composed by Rudolf Stephan, a German composer. The tune of this piece is familiar to the famous “Drunken Sailor”.  Make sure to check out this piece here


Deep River (arr. Carrie Lane Gruselle)


Deep River is a piece based on an African American spiritual of the same name.  A recording of this piece can be found here. The lyrics are in the subtitles.


Contrasts in E Minor (Fancis Feese)


Contrasts in E Minor is a piece composed by Francis Feese. The piece is divided into three sections and is a common intermediate piece. A link to this piece can be found here.


“Playing with the orchestra by itself is fun, there’s not really a favorite part,” Amanda Tang (8) said. 


Honors Orchestra


The Honors Orchestra is composed of mostly seventh and eighth-grade students. It is the highest level of orchestra, with many of its members making TMEA’s region symphony orchestra.


Bach Double 1st Movement


Bach’s Double Violin Concerto is a piece where we really hear Bach’s genius as a composer. The piece features two violin solos, as well as a harpsichord solo. Jeemin Oh (8), and Daniel Li (7), will both have solos. Josephine Chow (8) will be playing the harpsichord. A recording of this piece can be found here. 


Simple Song (composed by Leonard Bernstein)


Simple Song was originally written for Mass, a musical theater piece. Mass would fall into relative obscurity, and didn’t receive good feedback from critics. However, Simple Song was well received. The piece normally features a singer, but Orchestra is playing without one. The piece features a solo by Soomin Oh (8), who will be playing the flute. Jonathan Chow (8) will also have a cello solo. Sarah Lee (7) also has a minor cello solo and Omkar Patil (8) has a viola solo. A recording of this piece can be found here. 


“I like how my part/solo fits in with the orchestra parts, and I absolutely love simple song! Thank you to Mr. Whatley for giving me this incredible opportunity to play with the CVMS orchestra.” Oh said. 


Concerto Grosso No.1 Prelude by Bloch


This piece by Ernest Bloch is one of the less popular pieces that our Honors Orchestra is playing. It doesn’t feature any violin solos unlike the other pieces, however, it does feature a piano solo. Josephine Chow (8) is a violist but cultivates her piano talent outside of school. She will be playing the piano in this piece. A recording of this piece can be found here.  


“As a pianist, I have little chamber music experience, so I think this is a really good opportunity for me to experience more of playing with a big group, rather than just playing by myself,” Chow said. 


All the pieces being played by honors have something unique and special about them. The pieces are best summed up by violist Omkar Patil (8)


“I like Bloch because it’s fast and exciting. It’s fun to play. I like Bach because I like listening to it and it’s fun to play and it sounds cool. Bernstein because it has a good viola part and I like the melody. I like this concert because it is very diverse. It has a fast, exciting one, a slow one, and another fast one.” Patil said. 


Past Recordings of CVMS Orchestra concerts can be found here

2022 Fall Concert


2021 Fall Concert


Josephine Chow (8) sits in front of her piano, getting ready to practice (Nikhil Gupta)
Awards in Orchestra Room (Nikhil Gupta)