A Lifetime of Music at the School

Subtitle: Seniors who have been in Chorus, Band, and Orchestra at WL for four years


Music can influence many students’ lives because of their connection they have to it. Many students participate in band, orchestra, or chorus to meet new people with  similar interests. Over the past four years of her high school experience, Elisabeth Coderre has been part of the chorus at school.

“It’s really fun,” Coderre said. “It’s just a bunch of people who want to sing and kind of create that sense of community together.”

Currently, Coderre is preparing for her upcoming concert. Usually, students in the chorus sing classical pieces and occasionally sing genres like pop or more religious pieces. However, many of the selected songs have a good message to create a positive outlook.

“Right now we’re in the middle of preparing for our spring concert, which is our multicultural one,” Coderre said. “So we’re singing songs from all over the world in different languages.”

Since Coderre has been singing in the chorus for a while, she strongly connects to it. 

“I’d say it’s a formative part of me and I’ve been doing it for so long,” Coderre said. “I kind of started on a whim in middle school and found that it really works for me.”

As a senior, Coderre plans to continue with the chorus in college. She plans on finding an acapella group on campus because she enjoys singing with others.

“We have two more performances left as a group [and] one of them is my graduation,” Coderre said. “ Then at that point, just finding another group that I can continue with in college and kind of forming a similar sense of community [as] well.”

Senior Natalia Chahil has been a part of the school orchestra for the past four years and plays the cello.  She was in the concert orchestra for three years, and this year she is in the chamber orchestra. 

“I think orchestra is a very light-hearted group of people,” Chahil said. “We like to take things seriously, but at the same time, we have leeway into having fun with what we do.”

At the school, the orchestra can be very engaging which helps students prepare for assessments. Chahil enjoys the interactive activities in the orchestra, such as the musical mystery guests.

“We have these musical mystery guests, and we have to guess who picked the song, and we’re given hints,” Chahil said. “By the end of the week, we should be able to know who it is, but at the same time, we also prepare for assessments, and we take exams, and we learn rhythms and how to play our instruments properly and nicely.”

Chahil enjoys orchestra because of the community. The overall learning environment is very relaxing because of the class structure.

“I like orchestra because it’s relaxing, and it’s fun when you understand a piece and you’re with a group of people, and you’re able to play the piece and it sounds right,” Chahil said. “Then you get this sort of satisfaction, and this is very cathartic.”

Chahil believes that students should always try their hardest in the orchestra and want to perform better and better. This allows students to become more successful and want to audition for higher-level orchestras. 

“You should always try to challenge yourself and try your hardest. If you’re a violinist always audition for first chair violin,” Chahil said.“You never know, you might become the first chair violinist, and then for other people [who] want to audition to higher-level orchestras like concert or chamber you should try it and show that you want to do better.” 

Senior Jeremy Fagen is in the band and plays many instruments such as the saxophone, piano and guitar bass. Fagen likes the community and spending time with his friends in band.

“It’s a very tight-knit community because we’re always very committed to getting better as a band,” Fagen said. “This year, it’s very senior heavy, so we got a lot of good leadership.”

Since Fagen has been a member of the band for the past four years, it has changed a lot. However, they have bounced back from the challenges of the pandemic, and seniors have become very motivated this year. 

“We lost a lot of people and energy over the pandemic, and we had to build it back up,” Fagen said. “ This year the senior class is really committed, so we sort of brought it back to where it came from our freshman year.”

Fagen plans to study music in college because of his connection to the band. This past year, Fagen has become a leader in the band, and has made many friends.

“I’m going to college to study music,” Fagen said. “I made a lot of friends, and this year I feel like I have been more of a leader in band. I’ve been like a section leader and doing a lot of organizational stuff.”

Music plays a huge role in Fagen’s life because of the creative aspects. Fagen likes music because it is his passion and a creative outlet.“It’s my passion and reverence, it is what I plan on doing so it’s something that’s pretty big for me,” Fagen said. “I’d say it’s like my main creative focus and a focus in life at the moment.”