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Jag Journal

The Student News Site of Johnson High School

Jag Journal

Jag Journal

Tune In To New Orchestra Class

Strings enter the campus for start of school year
Britney Crowe
Cavasos teaching orchestra during 4A.

Even though orchestra has only been a class for four weeks, even though there’s only 16 students, everyone is trying their best. This year, the first JHS orchestra class has started taking over the choir room every 4A.

The strings haven’t started after school activities just yet, but they have started organizing concerts, trips and other social activities. 

“The fun thing is since it’s the first one [class], I’m able to create what our system and cultures are going to be like with the students,” orchestra teacher Eric Cavasos said. “We’re growing together and deciding on what our programs are going to be like, so that’s exciting.”

Cavasos said his number one goal this year was to build a brand for the program. 

“I want more people in the community to know we exist,” Cavasos said. “That is my priority at this point and then it’s getting more people to join us.”

Sophomore Hazel Barksdale joined the orchestra class this year, but has been an active violinist since she was six. Barksdale said this was her first experience playing in a classroom and not with a private tutor, but she likes it. 

“I’m just happy that we have an orchestra now,” Barksdale said. “I look forward to the program getting bigger.”

Barksdale has gotten started on working with another violinist and cellist for a small ensemble performance in their class. 

“It’s a lot of fun making music with other people who feel the same way and we get to play some really cool pieces,” she said.

Freshman violinist Sharanya Rajamani-Ratanjee described the class as chill while also being intense. 

“For orchestra, the only way you’re going to make music is if you listen and if you practice,” Rajamani-Ratanjee said. “If you don’t listen and you don’t practice then you can’t do anything, so it is kind of intense, but then the teacher’s chill, so the class is chill.”

One thing she really likes about the class is practicing. She likes that when she practices it’s not so good at first.

“It’s like all the wrong notes in the wrong place,” she said. “But then when you compile it all together at the last moment it sounds so good, and you’re just like I did it! When you actually do it, it’s so rewarding.”

Both the violinists and Cavasos expressed their excitement for the organization’s development in the next few years. 

“I feel really optimistic about the program,” Barksdale said. ”Especially in the future and it’s been a great start.”

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About the Contributors
Daniella Moreno
Daniella Moreno, Editor
Dany Moreno is a junior and in her free time she reads books non-stop. She is also in the Criminal Justice Club, Book Club, Leo Club and Debate, and holds leadership positions in those clubs.
Ryan Sheely
Ryan Sheely is a junior staff member and a newcomer to news writing. He has been involved in choir since the third grade. He is looking forward to being in included in the newspaper staff for his remaining year at JHS.
Britney Crowe
Britney Crowe, Adviser
This is my first year advising the journalism classes at JHS. Here they are called printing and imaging. Goals for this year include learning this SNO site for the online paper, Jag Journal, and building the program to continue strong journalistic skills through interviewing, writing, reporting, photographing and designing. I have worked as a journalism teacher for 23 years and it is such a rewarding discipline that I feel extremely fortunate to have students who see the real world value in what they are doing in this class. The challenge to climb out of a social submissive shell in order to pursue persistence for a story is breathtaking. Publishing is one of the highest compliments a writer can achieve and do exactly that in printing and imaging. Competing in journalism competitions also propels bragging rights for these young journalists. They earn medals, ribbons, trophies and even their letterman jackets with high success. They travel to state and national competitions to share their skills and challenge themselves to be in the top of their writing game. I am more than happy to help empower their growth in knowledge for the AP Style Guide, copy editing and revising material, improving photography composition, and organizing design elements on a page for easy readership. We meet in classroom A243 at Johnson High School every Wednesday from 4:30-5-5:30p.m. Come join us!
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