Making Sweet Music.
By KEN GRABOWSKI Associate Editor
MANISTEE — Like most musicians, Onekama High School
sophomore, Lauren Pokorzynski feels that every time she picks up her
violin to play a piece it gives her the opportunity to express herself
in a very unique manner.
Despite her young age, Pokorzynski has been playing the violin for 10
years, and recently she earned a very distinct honor of being selected
to the Michigan All-State Orchestra.
It is an honor that many seniors would like to achieve once in their
high school musical careers, but one that has come the Onekama High
School sophomore’s way twice already.
Pokorzynski will be joining over 100 other students from all corners of
Michigan to comprise the 2008-09 all-state orchestra. In January, she
will be performing with the group in a special concert that will be held
at the DeVos Center during the Michigan Band and Orchestra Association’s
annual conference. “It is really cool to be a part of this, and
quite an honor,” said Pokorzynski.
The Onekama sophomore said it really steps things up to another level
performing side-by-side with some of the state’s most talented
musicians. It is something that compels her to perform at an even higher
“I really like how when you get there everyone really knows what they
are doing, and the conductor is really into conducting,” said
Pokorzynski. “The music is just so powerful, and awesome.”
Pokorzynski said the practice sessions are intense, as the conductor
doesn’t have a great deal of time to work with the orchestra.
That means some lengthy practice sessions prior to the performance.
It is much different than when she performed with the Traverse City
Youth Orchestra for a long time.
“You have six hours of playing every day and they split it up, as you
play for two hours, take a break, play for two more hours, and then come
back again,” said Pokorzynski. “I haven’t received the music we will be
playing, and I don’t know the name of the conductor that will be
directing us this year, but I am really looking forward to it.
“It is completely different from Traverse City, as that is more for
fun,” said Pokerzynski. “With this, the people are really committed to
being musicians, and they are from all over the state.”
There will be about 40 violin players in the orchestra
and Pokorzynski has moved up to 10th chair this year after being seated
in the 17th chair position last year. Pokorzynski has two years of high school remaining, and
her chances of moving up to first chair remain good if she keeps
progressing at the same rate.
STUDENT HONORED: Onekama High School
sophomore Lauren Pokorzynski was named to the Michigan All State
Photo by Ken Grabowski/News Advocate
She said that playing the violin is something she enjoys doing very much
and uses the instrument as a way of expressing herself. It is by far the
most popular instrument that she plays.
“It really lets you release your emotions in a way that is like
speaking,” said Pokorzynski. “I also play the clarinet in the school
band, but I would prefer the violin.”
Students are selected to the all-state orchestra through a blind
audition where students submit their work on tape and it was only
labeled with a number when the judges listened to it. The judges don’t
have any idea of whose work they are listening to and that relieves them
of any bias in selecting members to the orchestra.