On Tuesday February 12, the Churchill Orchestra’s performed all of their UIL music for their parents and friends. UIL, which stands for University Interscholastic League, provides contests for extracurricular activities. As orchestra is an extracurricular course, it is included in UIL, and it’s one of the biggest competitions all year. When you arrive to the UIL competition room, you play in front of three judges who have a microphone to speak into. The judges will tell you everything they liked about the way the orchestra performed and the parts that they think needed some work. This contest means a lot to everyone in orchestra, especially the directors, so it’s always good to have a practice run to see where everyone is. That “practice run,” so to speak, was the concert yesterday. The orchestra students got dressed up in their black suits and dresses like usual and sat down to perform their pieces, all while people in the audience were recording them and making notes to themselves about the overall sound of the orchestra. No matter how well the orchestra’s do at the actual contest, they have still put in lots of hard work and effort to get to where they are today, and that is extremely commendable.
Yesterday, the ASL club had their second meeting. The first meeting was mainly for introductions and to discuss club funds as well as what the club entails. Students that know sign as well as students that don’t know any sign went to the meeting, with the hope of raising awareness for those that use ASL daily. This second club meeting though was purely for bonding and fun. A silent game night is exactly what it sounds like; you play board games such as Monopoly, Trouble, Battleship, etc. but you try to talk as little as possible. Instead, you sign to the people playing the games with you, which can be a challenge for those that don’t know sign. With that said, for most games, you only need to know the ASL alphabet to get your message across.
It’s honestly quite amazing all of the clubs that our wonderful campus offers. Clubs like Gay – Straight Alliance, unity, and even ASL provide a safe space for Churchill students. They have a place to go after school where they can hang out with people with similar interests and backgrounds. Our school is extremely lucky to have such a diverse student body, and so many students that are interested in making everyone feel included.
On Monday night, December 3, the Churchill Orchestra had their Christmas concert. This concert was special to many students, parents, and even the directors. The main orchestra director, Mr. Thibodeaux, even had his grandmother arrive to enjoy the holiday tunes. Because of how special this concert is to many, the orchestra has been preparing for it for months. Right after the Fall Concert, they jumped right into the Christmas season, and began to rehearse.
On the other hand, the orchestras did need lots of time to practice. They had over six songs to perfect in only around two months. To anyone that doesn’t play an instrument, that may seem like no big deal, but when you have several different orchestras, all at different skill levels, it can be extremely difficult.
Of course, all of that hard work does pay off in the end; everyone in the orchestra gets to have fun together and bond. After the concert is over, the students don’t have to look at that music for at least another year. Overall, these concerts, especially the holiday ones, bring everyone together. Whether it’s the violas or the cellos dancing during one of their songs, it’s clear that our Churchill Orchestra knows how to have fun, and plays almost perfectly at the same time.
You might be wondering what’s next for the orchestra. After this concert, competition season approaches, where each orchestra has to learn the songs that they will all end up playing together in front of a few judges. This season certainly promises a lot of stress for these students, but it’s nothing that they can’t handle. After all, they’re in orchestra. They can accomplish anything they set their mind to.
Christmas is just around the corner, which means that finals are too. Luckily, you can exempt up to three classes. Now, this doesn’t include AP classes (for the first semester) and some classes you won’t be able to exempt. If you have an 80-85 as an average, you can’t have any absences to exempt. If you have a 85-90, you can have one absence and still exempt, a 90-95 you can have two absences and still exempt, and 95-100, you can have three absences and still exempt. Make sure to check your absences and see where you fall on this list.
When you fill out your exemption form, it will be on a Google form. Check your school email to see if you were sent any information about it, and if not, you can always talk to the administration personnel at our school. It’s also important to note that the deadline is coming up quickly. If you submit your exemption form a minute late, they won’t accept it, so make sure to get it turned in as soon as possible. Finals are stressful for many, if not all, high school students. Take a little bit of weight off of your shoulders and exempt as many finals as you can.