EHS Orchestra brings joy to kids at the Children’s Hospital

Dedeepya Guthikonda, freshman apprentice

Because the Edina High School Orchestra does not play at events such as pep fests, football games, and parades, it may not be as well-known to the student body at EHS. However, they have a special concert location of their own: the Children’s Hospital. More so, they are even on television!

Every Thursday morning, the orchestra room is filled with music long before school even starts. The chamber orchestra at EHS is an audition-only orchestra, made up of a talented group of musicians ranging from grades 9 through 12.

Along with playing at school concerts, they are an orchestra made to collectively represent the EHS orchestra at community events. For example, an upcoming event for them this year is playing at the Children’s Hospital. The orchestra will be featured on the hospitals’ in-house TV station, Star Studio.

Star Studio is a television channel that aims to provide hospital patients and their families an alternative to mainstream commercial broadcasting. “When they go to the hospital they’re going to be performing on [Star Studio] that happens a couple times a week. So whether the patients can come to us or not, they can watch it on their TV screen,” Chamber Orchestra Director Kristine Weise said. The orchestra plays pieces that are geared directly towards the kids’ preferences, this year they will be playing songs from Moana, a hit Disney classic.

When asked about the incentive behind the orchestra’s involvement at the hospital, Weise says “It’s important that the orchestra does that because it’s a great way to reach out into the community… not only to benefit us but to benefit the kids who are at the hospital.” However, this isn’t the only community event that the orchestra participates in. They will also be playing at The Waters this year, a memory care-unit in Edina.

In fact, Weise chose to play at the Children’s Hospital so it would be a completely different experience than playing at The Waters. The Waters is a nursing home, while The Children’s Hospital is made up of a completely different crowd, kids.

Freshman Paavo Rundman is part of the Chamber Orchestra and will be playing at the Children’s Hospital, “[Playing at the hospital] gives us an opportunity to play in an environment that we usually wouldn’t, and to do good things in the community.” He says.

Though it may seem like a simple thing to do, the concert is important to the kids there. “Generally speaking, whoever is at the hospital is there for a really unfortunate reason, this would be a great way to benefit kids, many of whom are [of high school] age,” Weise said.

The Chamber Orchestra has found a way to give back to the community by sharing music. This is just one example of how Edina High School students are involved in service-learning throughout the year!