A Love Letter to GCAA Music



High School Orchestra performing piece at Six Flags Music Festival

Korissa Smith, Editor

I originally came to GCAA for theater. Yes, I wanted to be an actress. I thought I would be a HUGE star one day. I came into the sixth grade intending for the theater pathway. But there was one problem: I had unbelievable stage fright.

Every single time I had a performance coming up in my acting class I would have a huge panic attack. My heart would race, I couldn’t breath. It was bad. Not to mention my passion (and talent) for theater was just not there.

So, naturally I decided, come 7th grade year, I would try something else. My brother played cello… I thought strings were cool. So, BOOM! I began playing viola. (I actually wanted to play violin but there were way too many.) And it stuck. I still play viola to this day and it came to be a great passion for me.

And you know why I was able to perform so well in an orchestra rather than in theater? It’s because of the sense of community and comfort that I get when I play with my orchestra.

We are silly, we have fun, we criticize one another, we yell at one another, we are a family. I believe that orchestra will always be that for me.

Recently on April 29, I went on my very last music trip with GCAA. We had fun and rode roller coasters, then fearfully, performed in front of three professional judges. Particularly my orchestra performed songs that I personally felt we were not ready to perform. But I suppose that was the fun part… Being scared then pushing through and doing it anyway. Then, actually being decent and winning a score of 3 (meaning “good”)

That is what the orchestra taught me: courage and confidence.

High School Orchestra preparing for performance in Six Flags Music Festival. (PTO)

This doesn’t just go for orchestra. I love being a part of the whole music department because we all have a passion and an understanding for music that is not gifted to many people.

We understand the struggle of playing string instruments with acrylic nails. We understand that you cannot drink anything cold before singing a song. We understand the stress and struggle of an upcoming music concert and not feeling prepared.

To go to Six Flags with all of these people that have that common understanding one more time was a huge gift to me. It’s a time I cannot get back ever in life.

I will go to college next year to study biology! Who knows if I will continue to play viola or ever play with an ensemble again. Regardless if I do, no one could ever replace what I found here…In the Music Department of GCAA.