Chamber Orchestra welcomes sophomores as they prepare for unique challenges

The high level ensemble leaves students such as Pooja Jain with a fresh opportunity unlike other classes

While many students associate a fresh school year with new schedules, a slew of textbooks and an already mounting workload from AP classes, a handful of sophomores put that aside for their first day as a member of West Linn High School’s Chamber Orchestra- a selective ensemble now open to grades sophomore through senior.

The class offers unique opportunities to students willing to put in the numerous hours of practice and the challenges of higher level music alongside fellow upperclassmen.

Pooja Jain, sophomore, talked about why she decided to audition for the orchestra for the upcoming school year.

“I’ve been playing violin for about nine years now. I’ve been doing orchestras since I was in 4th grade.” Jain said.

Jain has been surrounding herself with music since childhood. So when given the opportunity to take on an exciting new outlet for her instrument, she jumped at it.  

“I definitely enjoy a challenge, and I haven’t really felt like I had one in a long time because of how experienced I’ve become playing the violin. But now that I’m in chamber, I’m excited to see what new concepts I can learn in the ensemble.” Jain said.

And while she has a dedication for the class, Jain’s passion for the violin doesn’t stop at chamber. Jain also participates in a college level orchestra at Marylhurst University, along with taking strings.

While most people who audition share Jain’s positive outlook on the challenge and see it as a hopeful opportunity to excel above their grade level, the standard set by those already there may leave sophomores with a new pressure unlike traditional classes.

“There’s definitely a higher standard to chamber. Not only do you have to be equipt in higher level music than what’s given in string orchestra, but the music given here is all around harder. Muggli is expecting us to do way more than we have ever done before.” Jain said.

Ms. Muggli, the teacher for Chamber orchestra, leads the classroom and pushes her students such as Pooja to their limits.

While she enjoys the opportunity to improve her skills, Jain undoubtedly feels the need to perform at an accelerated pace.

“It’s definitely a class that will make you work and practice a lot.” Jain said.

Nicole Potokev, sophomore, also shares her attitude.

“The music is much more challenging.”Potokev said. However, she sees it as an opportunity. “That’s just how I’ll get better.”

Since her first days in Chamber, Potokev has already taken advantage of the almost intimidating amount of higher grade levels that make up her class, and is always ready to learn from those that have the experience that can improve her techniques.

“I enjoy being able to learn from those around me.” Potokev said.

As the school year begins to unfold, the expectations may be overwhelming to the incoming participants, but the group of sophomores that were selected believe that the rewards will be worth the stress that lies in the new challenge.

“I think what makes chamber unique is that we really try to push everyone to do their hardest. We try to do things one level above our current experience just so we can learn how to get there.” Jain said.

Also, an exceptional interest for their instrument can undoubtedly make the challenges presented in the class easier

“Everyone there is very passionate about their instrument, and focused on playing really well.” Potokev said.

Both Jain and Potokev are looking forward to her upcoming concerts “Nosferatu” and the “Cadet Concert” held in mid Oct. And as they, among other newcomers, tirelessly work to achieve the same polished sounds as more experienced players, they know this class will bring a better understanding of their achievements as hopeful musicians.