Krempa conducts first orchestra concert of the year

Emma Ismail

From big classical blockbusters to more contemporary pieces, the Stevenson Orchestra played it all for their first concert of the school year. The Performing Arts Center was filled on Oct. 5 with the sound of all different instruments warming up for the concert. The Orchestra consists of around 215 students who have been practicing their instruments for many years.

For Anthony Krempa, director of orchestra and guitar, this was the first show he conducts at Stevenson. Krempa has been an orchestra teacher for the last 18 years and has instructed students of all ages.

“Compared to my previous years in other institutions, I feel very confident that this will be a really wonderful event for all the players,” Krempa said. “I’m excited to see what the last few weeks of preparation will be like.”

Students have practice everyday during school and afterschool practices when the concert grows nearer. In addition, many of them also practice at home, including Aleksandr Butovetskiy ’17.

On top of all the work that the students do outside of class, the directors also have a lot of work to do. They begin sorting everything out over the summer, but the real work begins after school has started. Krempa prepares his students for a concert in a number of ways.

“We focus on instrument technique and the special and unique demands of the pieces we’re working on,” Krempa said. “It’s a very intentional process, and as you stretch it out over a number of days and a number of months, you get a very thoughtful performance.”

Due to all of the extensive preparation put in, Krempa is very confident in his players. He just wants them to enjoy playing and have a good time on stage.

“I feel prepared for this concert,” Butovetskiy said. “We have a good amount of new freshmen that are very skilled at their instruments.”

The students have put in a lot of work into this concert, so it’s natural for them to be nervous. It’s important for them to not let the nerves get the best of them, Krempa said.

“Don’t we all get nervous?” Butovetskiy said. “You’re onstage, and you’re going to be nervous, but it’s going to work out in the end.”

Butovetskiy is not the only one who gets nervous. The entire orchestra is anxious before the show begins. As a whole, the orchestra directors do their best to pull everyone together for a show.

“Students show nerves in many different ways,” Krempa said. “I think the best thing any director can do is show calm leadership.”

Krempa is also subject to pre-show nerves. Despite all of his previous experience, he is still apprehensive before a show.

“My butterflies used to be about that I would do something silly, like trip or drop my baton,” Krempa said.

Now, his nervous butterflies have become more about whether or not he is representing his school and his department in a professional manner. He takes a lot of time to prepare and to make sure nothing goes wrong.

“I think this concert is going to be pretty exciting, and certainly, I’ll mess something up along the way,” Krempa said. “Hopefully nobody notices.”