Students take initiative to share their passion for classical music

Kerui Yang, head editor-in-chief

Walking into the Edina High School orchestra room on a Thursday after school, instead of seeing students hurriedly gathering instruments to catch the bus or carpool, a group of four students are setting up music stands in the far right corner of the room. A piano tune created by a student drifts through the air. Another student is tuning their clarinet, getting ready for their rehearsal. Rushing through the doors, two students are trying to pick up the copies of their newest piece of music: Johannes Brahms’ Clarinet Quintet. This is the EHS Council of Classical Musicians club.

Formed in the beginning of the previous school year, the CCM is comprised of a group of students who are trying to spread their passion for classical music in the local community. “So far we have tried to do that with community performances, including the Rotary Club Gala and a Society for Orphaned Armenia Relief fundraiser. Later this month we are looking at maybe participating at Coacello,” senior and club member Lasse Hackbarth said. 

These performance opportunities have come to them in a variety of ways. For example, Mr. Nicholas Gaudette, an EHS Orchestra teacher and CCM’s advisor, informed them of the Rotary Club opportunity. Senior Dahyun Hong, who is in charge of the club’s community outreach, then solidified this chance. Alternatively, their performance at the Society for Orphaned Armenian Relief was the result of an invitation from the fundraiser’s organizers. Overall, as the opportunities arise, they take it case by case. 

Perhaps one of the most important characteristics of this music ensemble is that it is entirely student-led. When they are rehearsing, the main way in which they are able to improve their musicianship is through collaboration between the students, as Gaudette is not too involved. 

When CCM is looking for music, they will choose whichever song that interests them. Sometimes, they will look through Gaudette’s music library. Other times, the music comes through the suggestion of a club member. “Today we’re sight-reading Brahms’ clarinet Quintet because [senior] Lucca Figari reached out and was interested in performing it as it has a great clarinet part,” Hackbarth said. 

The students’ independence have not only bettered their musicianship. “[CCM has built] up our sense of leadership, problem solving, and self-motivation,” Hackbarth said. 

Hackbarth personally joined CCM due to a variety of reasons. Having played the violin since he was four years old, Hackbarth’s personality and extracurriculars have been heavily influenced by music. The Minnesota Youth Symphony, private violin lessons, and EHS’ orchestra program are just a few ways in which Hackbarth has developed his music passion. After witnessing CCM’s practices as he was leaving school and hearing about it from numerous friends last year, Hackbarth was interested in joining the club to participate in music outside of school and MYS. Due to scheduling conflicts, he was not able to participate as much as he would have liked to. Luckily, this year, his open schedule on Thursday afternoon allows him to participate full time. 

After regularly performing in the St.Paul music community for his other music extracurricular activities, Hackbarth enjoys being able to perform more locally. “[CCM has] definitely made an impact with participation in local Edina performances,” Hackbarth said. 

CCM has been critical in bringing together individuals who share a similar passion. Even for club members who are away from the high school due to Post-Secondary Enrollment Options, this club has been a nice way in which they can still participate in school activities and connect with friends. “We’re not doing CCM because we have to, but because it’s an interest of ours to bring our passion to music,” Hackbarth said.