On March 22, 2022, all 100 Bellevue High Orchestra Students met in the Bellevue High Performing Arts Center to work with Mario Alejandro Torres, Conductor of the University of Washington Philharmonia. Each class performed for Mr. Torres, then received a clinic from the professional conductor and violist. Mr. Torres a native of San Pedro Sula, Honduras, is pursuing a doctoral degree at the University of Washington in orchestral studies. He has conducted orchestras throughout Europe and Latin America.
The program started with Concert Orchestra performing Entrance of the Queen of Sheba by G.F. Handel and Themes from the Moldau by Bedrich Smetana. Then, Sinfonia performed Fantasia on a Theme by Thomas Tallis by Ralph Vaughan Williams and the Finale from Divertimento No. 12, K. 252 by W.A. Mozart. Chamber Orchestra concluded the day by performing Allegro from Concerto Grosso, Op.3, No. 8 by Antonio Vivaldi and Rikudim by Jan Van Der Roost.
During the on-stage clinics, Mr. Torres complimented each group’s ability to perform together and stay engaged. And, while he recognized each group’s strengths, he also offered students feedback on how they can help their own ensemble improve over time. Between performances and clinics, students also submitted questions to the guest conductor, ranging from topics such as music in college to life as a conductor.
By the end of the day, students were very grateful for Mr. Torres’ time and tutelage. It was a multi-faceted event in which students experienced a performance atmosphere, worked with a professional conductor, and still had time to catch up with their friends and classmates. Thank you Mr. Torres for working with our students at Bellevue High, and congratulations to all students on a fine performance!