Orchestrating a Family

Students, teachers connect with musical experiences


Minh Anh Le

Alana Saliba ‘23 Plays her violin. She has taken orchestra for 3 years and became a sectional leader.

Sitting in the first chair of the second violin in the orchestra as a freshman, Alana Saliba ‘23 faced the responsibility of navigating a tense dynamic in the ensemble.

“I knew that the seniors didn’t want me there,” Saliba said. “There was a big divide between the seniors and the underclassmen. We didn’t talk. We didn’t hang out.”

Three years later, Saliba is a leader in orchestra. Now, she prioritizes looking out for her peers.

“We are trying to foster a community where everyone feels safe and welcomed because high school is really, really hard,” Saliba said. “I do my best to try and help freshmen out. It’s almost like a big sibling kind of thing.”

The tension that once plagued the room is no longer and laughter echoes through the classroom.

“The community just blossomed into something that is really wonderful for myself and everyone else involved,” she said. They even visited the local haunted house Terror in the Corn with the entire orchestra.

Exchanging nods and smiles, the bonds within the community become part of their symphony.

“Having respect for the people around you helps you want to listen to them more and foster a better sound because we’re listening to each other,” Saliba said. “Music is its own language.”

To Saliba, POPS, a department-wide concert, always brings her an absolute delight of harmonizing all types of music together.

“POPS has its own special flavor,” she said. ”We had groups of people from all the different music programs,” she said. “Everybody’s there together for three days. Just being together, listening to each other, and hanging out.”

Caught somewhere in her four years in music, those three days are the moments Saliba cherishes the most.

“All we want collectively, is to spread love and kindness through music,” she said.

Upcoming Events

April 12
Orchestra Concert