Orchestras gearing up for concert after earning top marks


The Hayes Players and the Hayes Symphony Orchestra recently received top scores at competitions and will showcase their talents one more time at a concert in May.

Orchestra Director Keegan Lammers said Thursday that earlier this semester the 28 students in the Hayes Players traveled to the Ohio Music Education Association State Orchestra event in Gahanna and left the competition with a “Superior” rating.

“They did a fantastic job,” Lammers said. “They had a really difficult program and received ‘Superior’ ratings across the board from all three judges and their sight-reading judges.”

Lammers said she was particularly worried about the sight-reading competition since only the senior members of the Hayes Players had ever done a sight-reading competition before.

“It was a great experience to have a lot of senior leadership there,” Lammers said. “It was so fun to see them collaborating. Their program was really difficult. They worked especially hard in and out of the classroom to prepare all that.”

Lammers said she’s proud of the group.

“To be able to pull off that level of repertoire in the amount of time that they did and at the level of performance that they did was just really impressive,” she said. “I felt really lucky to be a part of that.”

Lammers said that earlier this month the 72 students in the Hayes Symphony Orchestra went to the Central Ohio String Festival in Upper Arlington and earned a “Superior” rating for their performances, even though they were distracted by the school’s new facilities.

“Their whole high school is brand new. Our students had some shell shock even walking into the building,” Lammers joked. “They enjoyed getting to go play at that facility, and they got superior ratings from all the judges.”

Lammers said the orchestra also got a chance to work with Dr. Douglas Droste, the conductor at the Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music, who gave the group feedback on its performance.

“It was fun to see him work with the students,” Lammers said. “He gave a lot of great advice.”

Lammers said the competition was a first for many orchestra students, and they were thrilled by the “Superior” rating.

“They got so excited,” Lammers said. “A lot of those students had never been to those contests before. It was especially rewarding to see them being so proud of what they worked together to accomplish.”

This was the first competition season for Lammers, who joined the district to lead the orchestra and players last year.

“It was an exciting two weeks,” she said. “To get straight 1s from every judge at every competition was really exciting. It’s been a great competition season.”

The Hayes Concert Orchestra, Hayes Symphony Orchestra, and Hayes Players will perform again on May 1 at the annual Spring Pops Concert at Hayes High School. The concert is free and open to the public and begins at 7:30 p.m.

Lammers said she is looking forward to concert, which also falls on her birthday.

“There’s no better way to spend the day,” she said. “It’s different than other concerts. … It’s got a little bit of everything. The students are really looking forward to that.”

The concert will be the finale to Lammers’s first year as the orchestra’s leader, which she said has flown by.

“Sometimes I can’t believe it’s basically April,” Lammers said. “I’ve been really busy, and I’ve learned a lot this year. There were times it was a little overwhelming and difficult, but in hindsight, I can’t believe how quickly it went, and I’m really thankful for my colleagues and the administration who have been so supportive and helpful to me this year. I get to work with fantastic students. I’m lucky.”

Lammers said she’s thankful to the parents and community for supporting music students for so many years.

“It’s fun to see it from a teacher perspective,” she said. “I see how much of that is the legacy of what we’ve inherited. We have a really fantastic program and so much of that is thank to the teachers who came before me and the community and parent support.”

Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.

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