Ruby Guthrie is a sophomore here at Mehlville who actively participates in orchestra. She says she joined orchestra because she has fun playing instruments. Guthrie also grew up playing instruments at the moment she is playing the viola.
She says that orchestra is a chill space and that Mrs. Meschke is nice.
“She is like a mother to us, we call her momma Meschke and the other students in the class are like brothers and sisters. We are all kind of like a family,” said Guthrie. “We look up to her and she is laid back but she’ll still get on us if she needs to, overall she is a great teacher.”
Ruby says that although there are ups and downs.
“It’s not always balanced throughout the band and there is always more with strings. There are fewer violins and if the violins mess up – it messes us up. Also, people tend to not want to practice,” Guthrie said.
Guthrie said that orchestra members each have their own unique thing, but she did notice that many of the students are also really into art.
She notes there are opportunities to play beyond high school, particularly at the community college. But says that there are higher expectations in that setting.
“You are expected to be able to play correctly without fail. Gary Gackstaker (the conductor) will stop in the middle of a piece if he hears someone playing incorrectly and will proceed to call out whoever was playing incorrectly. Being called out like that can be very nerve wracking,” said Guthrie.
Her next concert is at Delmar Gardens retirement home. The orchestra will play holiday songs for the residents.
Her advice to musicians, “If you practice and are confident in your playing skills then you shouldn’t have to worry much.”