As the Orange Lutheran Instrumental program gears up for their second-semester performances, including tours featuring some of their repertoire to younger students, competition pieces to be performed at Worldstride’s San Diego Heritage Festival in early April, and their very own student showcase highlighting the multitude of musical talents later on in the school year, tensions are high as students enter crunch mode to get their music up to performance-grade level. 

Prior to spring break, the program, led by Mr. Zeilinger (or as his students call him, Mr. Z), held its very first morning rehearsal to practice some of its competition pieces. Varying from Romantic-era Edvard Grieg and 19th-century Ralph Vaughan Williams to more contemporary 20th-century Dmitri Shostakovich and Joe Hisaishi (known for his legendary Studio Ghibli soundtracks), the orchestra’s repertoire is full of contrasting pieces that are vastly different in style. In order to help the group become more unified in their playing, they held their first group rehearsal and practiced together while receiving guidance from guest conductor Dr. Kenneth Foerch from Vanguard University. 

Freshman Ryan Vandenberg, a member of the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Handbell Ensemble, and Percussion Ensemble, was given the role of playing a short saxophone solo in Shostakovich’s Waltz No. 2, featuring a beautiful preview of the melody that would continue to carry throughout the piece. Due to the nature of the piece and its “graceful phrases,” it is difficult to perform the waltz with the same “elegant” tone that it was written– nonetheless, Ryan feels “pretty confident” in his ability to perform the solo due to his prior five-year experience in playing the instrument. 

Similarly, Grieg’s Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 16 features multiple moments of piano solo– junior Connor Sung, who had initially been skeptical of playing the concerto due to his short “year and a half” experience in playing with a full orchestra, decided to play it despite its high difficulty level. The group still has high hopes for the final performance because, as Connor put it, the freeing feeling of “finally [presenting] it to an audience who understands your work” makes the hours of practice worth it for all the performers. 

Tickets to see these amazing students perform at the Instrumental Program’s Student Showcase on April 24th can be purchased at Some of the songs performed will be the pieces mentioned above, including Waltz No. 2 and Piano Concerto in A minor. Come support the Instrumental Program and listen to the hard work that they’ve put into creating this amazing performance!     


Photo Credit:

Orange Lutheran Instrumental Music Instagram @lancerinstmusic