The Student News Site of Newton North High School

The Newtonite

The Newtonite

The Newtonite

Follow Us on Twitter

Students in fine and performing arts classes participate in unique field trips

Waka Miyashita
Yo-Yo Ma speaks to the audience at a Boston Symphony Orchestra open rehearsal attended by North’s band and orchestra, Thursday, Oct. 12.

Between rehearsals, concerts, and exams, North’s Fine and Performing Arts department takes students to observe professionals practice their crafts with the recent Boston Symphony Orchestra trip, the upcoming Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum visit, and the long-awaited trip to New Orleans. The wide variety of trips is an incredible opportunity for students because it acts as a community bonding experience, offers students motivation, and allows them to realize that their aspirations are possible to attain. 


Boston Symphony Orchestra

North’s band and orchestra attended the Boston Symphony Orchestra open rehearsal which featured cellist Yo-Yo Ma, who played two of Shostakovich’s pieces before talking about his experiences with the audience. 

A day of missed classes was a worthy sacrifice for the immersive experience which allowed students to be able “to be inspired by that sound and say, you know what I want to be able to play like that someday,” said fine and performing arts department head Todd Young. 

According to music teacher Richard Labedz, the opportunity to see professionals is especially rewarding for “students that maybe don’t have somebody else playing the same instruments in our band,” he said. 

The experience also helped demystify the famous and talented musicians and made students realize that attaining such a high level of playing is possible. Sophomore Samantha Shu, a violinist, said, “Before Yo-Yo Ma played, he gave a speech, and he seemed like he could be your neighbor, and I was really surprised.” 

For the aspiring musicians, “just being in the symphony halls was worth a lot,” said music teacher Adam Grossman.


Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

AP Art History teacher Leslie Kepner is trying to create a more immersive experience for her students by bringing them to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in the spring, as its expansive and impressive collection of medieval and Renaissance artworks aligns with the AP Art History curriculum. 

“Museum visits allow you to appreciate the colors, textures, and level of detail in artworks that you just can’t see in a slideshow or a textbook,” said Kepner. “You can also appreciate the size, scale, and level of craftsmanship that it took to make these objects and understand why they had such an impact in the cultures of time periods they came from.” While the focus of most AP classes is to prepare students for the exam, experiences like these can bring alive the materials and information that students are learning in class.


New Orleans

The music department will continue its music trips in April, when the Jazz Ensemble will embark on a trip to New Orleans for the first time since the pandemic. 

Looking back at previous years’ trips, Labedz said, “It was very eye-opening to see the origin and the birthplace of jazz and the culture around it in New Orleans, which is a little bit different from what students might experience in a classroom.” The New Orleans trip has allowed students to experience Jazz in its original setting as well as take part in their cultural community. The experience has changed both their take on jazz music and inspired some changes to their program. 

Young stressed the importance of exposing art students to high-level performance. “The more of these things you do, the more experiences you have, the wealthier your education will be.”

Donate to The Newtonite
More to Discover
Donate to The Newtonite