Summer Send-Off with Senior Pieces

Senior musicians end their high school music careers

How would you like to have your last shining moment before you graduate? Something you are in complete control of? Well, for seniors in the music department, this is a reality.

In Kettle Run’s music department, seniors have the opportunity to choose a piece, anyone they want, for the entire ensemble they are in to perform at the final concert of the year.

This is important to seniors because this is their last shining moment before graduation. They are in charge of picking a piece, teaching their ensemble, and performing their piece. For most students, the spring concert is the thing they have been waiting for since freshman year.

Senior Allison Hall, orchestra student, sees a lot of advantages it brings to students who participate.

“Senior pieces are a great way to express who you are to the audience,” Hall said. “It’s the music department’s way of a senior night like the athletic department does.”

Senior Caleb Todd, band student, likes how the senior concert is so different from the other concerts that the music department produces.

“Normally with any music group you perform songs that benefit the group as a whole, and bring out the strengths as a whole,” Todd said. “But senior peces allow you to express yourself and your artistic style to an audience which is why I like them so much.”

This not only a fun experience for seniors to have before graduation, but it is also a great learning experience. Seniors are expected to teach their senior piece to their ensemble.

Kristina Sheppard, choir and orchestra director, made some changes this year so that seniors would teach their own pieces to their ensemble. With this, students can learn to have responsibility and be free to create what they want to see.

“This year, I took the tradition of performing senior pieces and merged them with other projects that I have assigned previously in my career,” Sheppard said. “I think a huge benefit that I have added is the component of teaching your own senior piece. As stressful as it sounds from the start, it created more ownership of one’s piece, and it forces you to realize everything that goes into putting on a live concert with all its moving pieces. I think it’s a cool new way to maintain a meaningful KRHS tradition, give it a new twist, and learn an important skill set just in time for graduation.”

Since this is the last opportunity a senior gets to leave their legacy at Kettle Run, picking a piece is more stressful than you would imagine. Most students start thinking about their senior piece when they are freshman and they try to make it fun and have meaning behind it.

“In orchestra, I chose to do a Beauty and the Beast medley, I chose that because it’s nostalgic and the music brings the magic to life,” Hall said. “I’ve been planning on doing this piece since my freshman year and I just thought of what would make my last concert memorable and something that would make me happy with the four years I put into the music program.”