As the guests walked into the Orchestra Benefit Dinner (OBD), they were greeted by the eerie mist and surrounded by the lyrical melodies of pirate shanties, following the theme of pirates. Warm welcomes were also given by the master of ceremonies, Richard Meyer, an accomplished composer, conductor, and AHS alum. Sitting at their reserved seats, and after a short introduction given by Ms. Chen, the audience members were greeted by student chamber groups ready to perform.
The music directors and Orchestra Council members arrived at the Masonic Lodge in the morning to start setting up for the benefit dinner--the tables were laid out and the pirate decorations were neatly put up on the walls. Moreover, many parent volunteers also helped to make the event possible by getting to the event early and lending a helping hand whenever it was needed. The music directors selected the theme of pirates for OBD in September 2022 and have been making careful plans to ensure events flow smoothly in the program. With the hard work of the Orchestra Council members and the parent volunteers, the event was able to come true.
Aside from the generosity of those who helped set up for the benefit dinner, the dinner would not have been completed without the wonderful young musicians who performed in chamber groups for the guests. The musicians who delivered spectacular performances to the audience had been practicing since the very beginning of this semester. Some even took time out of their weekends to further refine their performances to ensure the audiences would have a memorable experience at the dinner. In between the performances, live auctions took place to further support the development of the largest performing arts group at Arcadia High School (AHS), the Arcadia High School Orchestras.
At the very end of the dinner, all 230 orchestra students flooded into the room and surrounded the audience. As they started playing the pieces—-Sea Songs, Pirate Legend, and Pirates of the Caribbean—entirely from memory, powerful and compelling music filled the entire room. The guests couldn’t help but walk around the room and film the exciting performances.
The Orchestra Benefit Dinner is an annual event that would not have been possible without the dedication and support of those involved. Each year, minor revisions are made so guests can have a better experience. All in all, the event shows gratitude towards music that lies within the hearts of its participants.