UIL: Orchestra wins sweepstakes


The KHS Philharmonic orchestra performs their concert music at the UIL competition.

Lizett Garcia, Staff Writer

On Wednesday, March 30th. The KHS Orchestra went to compete in UIL at Cumberland Academy. The Philharmonic, Chamber, and Chamber Camerata Orchestras all received a superior rating and a sweepstakes trophy.

“My favorite part of UIL was being able to play my instrument with my orchestra group in a professional setting because together we accomplished the beautiful sound that is music,” sophomore Mari Composano said, “Being on the stage and being able to play the music as an orchestra made me feel like orchestra is more than what it looks like because on the stage the music being played expresses our excitement, and love for classical music.”

KHS Orchestra students worked hard in order to achieve this. They spent weeks practicing their music in order to prepare for the competition.

“One of my goals was to not mess up and have all of the measures in tune,” sophomore Anahi Vazquez said.

Competing in UIL comes with many benefits for students. The music challenges them and allows them to become a better musician. 

“I choose music that is challenging enough for the students to grow,” orchestra director Sherry Paetznick said, “Lots of tempo changes, challenging rhythms, and different playing techniques. They have learned a lot by playing this music.”

There were two parts of the UIL competition: the concert and sight reading portion. During the concert portion, students played the UIL music they have been practicing in front of the judges.

“I think that getting feedback from the judges, who are orchestra directors from other parts of the state, is pretty exciting,” Paetznick said, “It’s nice to know what we are doing right, and good to know where we can improve.”

After the concert portion, the students went straight to the sight reading portion. During this portion of the competition, students were given music they have never played or seen before. They only had seven minutes to learn to play it before performing it in front of the judges.

“It was so nerve wracking! I was honestly so scared to mess up or play a note that would disqualify the entire group,” Composano said, “Thankfully, I didn’t do anything to disqualify the group, however the feeling of messing up was always in the back of my mind.”

After both portions of the competition were over, the results came in, showing that all high school orchestras had received a sweepstakes trophy. The trophies were signed by the students and are now going to go on display in the orchestra room.

“I was in disbelief,” Composano said, “I couldn’t believe that we accomplished such a score with the sound of our music. When I came to realize what score we had gotten, I rejoiced!”