This article was originally published in the winter 2013 Harker Quarterly.
Bands at Harker are nothing new, as we see from this photo, but the orchestra of today is a long way from the drum and bugle corp of yesteryear. In 2012, The Harker School Orchestra was in London by government invitation to perform for London’s 2012 Cultural Olympiad.
In April 2014, The Harker School Orchestra will travel to Chicago to perform at the Chicago International Music Festival. “We auditioned for this festival last spring and were thrilled to be accepted,” said Chris Florio, upper school music teacher and the group’s director. The orchestra is working with composer Jeremy Van Buskirk of the Boston Composers’ Coalition on a new composition to be premiered by Harker students.
“My interaction with Jeremy was a lot of fun,” said Florio. He was very curious about Harker (and) opened our meeting by telling me how impressed he was with our orchestra and how excited he was to work with them. On describing his upcoming work for us, he said, ‘It would not be [Pierre] Boulez, but it would not be [Aaron] Copland either; it will most likely be somewhere in between.’ What a wonderful experience for our orchestra to be involved in the creative process of a large new work from beginning to premiere!”