Lauren Pokorzynski Selected to All-State Orchestra

Making Sweet Music.
By KEN GRABOWSKI Associate Editor 12/15/08

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 level.

“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 Orchestra.
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.
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