FPS’s Monster Mash


Kourtney Allee

Appulase after the final piece played at the Monster Mash on Oct. 30.

Kourtney Allee, Reporter

Star Wars, Fantastic Beasts, Pirates of the Caribbean: What do these all have in common? They were performed on Oct. 30 by Fayetteville Public Schools’ very own Orchestra at the Monster Mash! 

The Monster Mash is an annual concert filled with movie music, creepy and fall music from eighth-graders at Woodland and Ramay Junior High, as well as Fayetteville High School’s Orchestra. Mr. Ely Yale and Mrs. Mary Haley are the Orchestra directors for FPS and coordinate this fun event. The Monster Mash was originally only for the FHS Orchestra to perform, “but as the eighth graders have gotten better and better, they have started to join us on different pieces” Yale said. 

The eighth-grade Orchestra this year was actually featured on three songs at the Monster Mash. Yale expressed how pleased he was with the eighth-graders progress when he said: “They have really done a good job.”

Kourtney Allee
Eighth Grade Orchestra from Woodland and Ramay Performing with the FHS Orchestra on Oct. 30

The Chamber Orchestra at FHS, filled with prestigious students who practice and perform at community events such as the Hispanic Heritage Festival and FPS Hall of Honors, had the opportunity to play “Ghost Carnival” by Erik Morales. The Chamber Orchestra participants had to audition to be part of this elite group. They even play all their music without a conductor. (If you want to listen to a piece from the FHS Chamber Orchestra go to this link: https://youtu.be/LzUR6cPeAwM)

Getting prepared for the Monster Mash was a challenge as the students worked hard to be in shipshape for the concert. The order the students in the orchestra were placed depended on an assessment filled with scales and portions of the pieces they played at the concert. After being assigned a spot in the orchestra, the Orchestra students practiced by working on small sections of the songs, piece by piece. 

A quartet from the Northwest Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, otherwise known as SONA, had the opportunity to come and help students by sectionals: Violin Ones, Violin Twos, Violas, Cellos, and Basses. The individual leaders from the quartet helped give tips about bow technique, sight-reading, and other important musical elements needed to perfect the pieces. The SONA members went in-depth about their experiences with music pieces and shared their knowledge with the Orchestra students.   

All-Region also got students prepared for the Monster Mash. All-Region took place on Oct. 26 and students had to learn scales and pieces they could possibly be given at the audition. Many students in the Orchestra take private lessons, so their teachers were able to help them prepare. The students made the All-Region Orchestra if they did well on their audition and were properly prepared. Practicing the audition material helped many students create steady practice habits and be comfortable with Orchestra material.

The FHS Orchestra also had the opportunity to practice on stage performance on Oct. 29 They played their pieces and practiced exceptional concert edict to be fully prepared for the following concert.

Kourtney Allee
Mr. Ely Yale conducting the FHS Orchestra on Oct. 29 during 2nd hour.
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Cello Section during an onstage performance practice on Oct. 29
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Orchestra practicing Star Wars Score on Oct. 29

The Monster Mash was a total hit! The Orchestra wowed the audience with their technique and talent. Pirates of the Caribbean was the last piece they played and was a great end to the concert portion of the Monster Mash.

Kourtney Allee
Violinists Maya Maranto and Quinlen Dai during the concert on Oct. 30

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Henry Tullis, a Twelfth grader at FHS dressed up as Bob Ross for the Monster Mash.
Kourtney Allee
Mr. Ely Yale conducting the Orchestra Students’ last piece Pirates of the Caribbean at the Monster Mash on Oct. 30.

After, there was a Pumpkin Contest, featuring students carved pumpkin designs and trick or treating for the kids in costumes who attended the concert. Overall, the Monster Mash was a great way to celebrate Halloween as well as the FPS Orchestra program. Look forward to more of the Orchestra for their Winter Concert this December.     




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