Orchestra places well at string-UIL

In recent years, the varsity orchestra has grown accustomed to placing in the top division at UIL competitions. This year was no different, and director Andrew Potter was glad to continue the tradition of winning.

“I feel so happy that it’s over,” Potter said. “It’s a great process and it helps everyone understand what that next level of depth and perfection can be. But, it’s also a little stressful.”

A little more than a week before UIL, the orchestra had a chance to hone their pieces at the pre-UIL concert held at the PAC. Potter had no reservations about being vocal on how it went.

“I just like to say how it is, and if you sound bad I might tell you,” Potter said. “With pre-UIL, it gives us a lot to work on, and that’s really what’s good. It’s no good to just say, ‘hey, you’re bad,’ without offering how to fix it. And that’s why we do pre-UIL.”

Hard work and dedication to practicing their parts went a long way in making sure the UIL concert was a success, and it showed in the orchestra bringing back top awards.

“I’m always hoping for a little more individual student work,” Potter said. “But towards the end [before UIL] the students definitely stepped it up.”

With his second year at Westlake, Potter knew that all eyes would be on him for these competitions, and he is glad to be able to pass the test.

“I feel like these first couple years people are sort of watching to make sure I don’t screw things up,” Potter said. “I’m pretty confident that things are going to keep going well.”

For sophomores who make varsity orchestra, it can be a big jump from the much easier pieces played in freshman orchestra. However, this year, two sophomores, Pranathi Peri and Lillian Sun, led the violin section of the orchestra and led with great confidence.

“It’s stressful because you have to lead everybody, and if you mess up then everyone messes up,” Lillian said. “But it’s also interesting being in a leadership position as a sophomore.”