Beyond the Bridge

By Conrad Liu

What is orchestra? Some say that it's just a collection of musicians who come together to play beautiful melodies and harmonies. Others just see it as nice music. But what defines these musicians beyond their instruments? Who are they? At DSA, students enrolled in the orchestra pathway are more than just musicians: they are athletes and academics but most importantly, they are a community that supports one another through thick and thin.

Through the creation of this documentary piece on the orchestra pathway at Durham School of Arts, I was welcomed into a room full of students who were all very different. These unique students came together through their love of music and formed a community. The orchestra culture is one that is unique because students themselves want to be in this pathway and take measures to make sure that they really enjoy what they do. Outside of the rehearsal room, these musicians are just like anyone else but yet continue to keep the community that can only be developed through years of teamwork with one another. Actions speak louder than words, and it's very apparent that the orchestra is a very tightknit group even in my own limited exposure to them. The appreciation they have for their conductor shows just how much of a family they are, incorporating every aspect of orchestra as their own. I've been truly fortunate to have seen such a wonderful group of students and for the opportunity to personally follow a couple of them beyond the confines of the rehearsal room and briefly glimpse into their lives outside or orchestra. This orchestra culture fostered at DSA is truly something beautiful to behold.