A & E

Published on October 3rd, 2017 | by Emma Preston


Orchestra performs at Teen Choice Awards

This past summer, a select few of the Samo orchestra violinists got the opportunity to play with the band Clean Bandit at the Teen Choice Awards held on Aug. 13, 2017.

“Well, these producers from Atlantic Records must have seen our orchestra website, and they contacted us through the website asking us if there were some musicians interested in playing with a group from the UK called Clean Bandit,” Samo Orchestra Co-director Joni Swenson said.

When Swenson emailed violinists telling them about the opportunity, many of them were thrilled at the once in a lifetime opportunity. Ten violinists decided to take the opportunity to perform in front of a bigger audience than they were accustomed to.

Orchestra student Emma Ware (’18) was ecstatic to hear about the opportunity.

“When our teacher heard about the opportunity she emailed us. We were all super excited because it’s obviously such a rare opportunity,” Ware said.

“I’m not a huge pop culture fan so I didn’t really know what they were, but I valued the opportunity to play in a real setting,” Arya Shapouri (’19) said.

According to Swenson, the violinists didn’t have much time to rehearse on stage except for a rehearsal the day before, and one on the day of. According to Isabelle Trentchev (’19), the preparation was intense.

“To prepare for the performance, we had to attend the rehearsal which was the day before, as well as practice and memorize the music: Zara Larsson’s Rockabye and Symphony,” Trentchev said.

The violinists all enjoyed the thrilling and exciting atmosphere of an awards show. One of the highlights was having their own dressing room that was right next to the dressing room of well known rapper Lil Yachty. Another memorable part of the experience was when the performers were backstage and ran into the cast of Riverdale.

“It was so much fun just messing around in the dressing rooms and pretending we were big shot violinists,” Shapouri said. “It was also cool to see how meticulous the backstage people were. They were so kind the day before, but the day of it was a lot of screaming and nail biting”.

All of the performers describe the experience as fast.

“We wore these fox masks that made it really hard to see,” Ware said. “There were so many people and it was huge. The managers were just bustling us around from one place to the next.”

“It was really fun. I think the funniest bit were the looney fans. Through our weird masks we could see a range from 9 year old girls to 35 year old men all going crazy over people we were right next to. It was absolutely hilarious to see them rave over these people,” Shapouri said.

Performing in front of a huge crowd is not easy, and since it was many of the violinist’s first time performing at such a large venue, it was truly an unforgettable experience.

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