Marshall youth selected to be part of a statewide honors orchestra

MARSHALL – Annabelle Lecy and JP Rabaey may be young, but they’ve accomplished a lot when it comes to performing on a string instrument.

Lecy and Rabaey will represent Marshall in the Minnesota Middle Level Honors Orchestra. Lecy plays the cello, and Rabaey plays the violin.

This will be Lecy’s second time performing with the state honors orchestra.

“It was pretty cool, I got to meet a lot of new people,” Lecy said. And because she had so much fun last year, Lecy decided to audition again for the honors orchestra.

Rabaey said he has played the violin for five years.

“I was 8 years old, and my mom asked me if I wanted to play the violin,” he said, adding that his mother played the violin a little.

Rabaey started taking lessons from Diane Wright. Now, Rabaey goes to Bacco Liu.

“He taught me a really big concerto,” Rabaey said about Liu. “Now he’s teaching me some techniques on some smaller pieces.”

“I like it, it’s fun,” Rabaey said about playing the violin.

Both Lecy and Rabaey are members of the Southwest Minnesota Orchestra as well.

When auditioning for the honors orchestra, students are given a required piece and a choice piece. Lecy selected “Allegro Appassionato” for her choice piece. She said the required piece for cello is the same every year – “La Cinquantaine.” Rabaey was required to play a piece by Vivaldi and he picked a Suzuki piece “Perpetual Motion.”

“I had gotten used to it, I’ve played a lot of similar pieces,” Rabaey said. He said that “Perpetual Motion” was fun to play as it has a lot of motion with it.

Although the required piece was old hat to Lecy, her choice piece took some preparation for the audition.

“I had to work really, really hard,” she said.

“It was pretty much a lot of practicing in the last week,” Lecy added.

Rabaey said he was already in bed when his parents got the email that he was chosen for the honors orchestra.

“They (my parents) were really excited, too,” Rabaey said. “They called my grandparents that night to tell them.”

Rabaey said there are a lot of fun pieces that will be performed at the honors orchestra concert today at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The students get the music beforehand to learn for the performance.

Being part of the honors orchestra isn’t the only thing Lecy has excelled at musically in the last few weeks. She was the winner of the SMO concerto competition and will be a soloist in the SMO’s children’s concert on March 4. Lecy said that all seven of the contestants, including herself, were all backstage awaiting the results, knowing that each other did well.

“We were really nervous, and when my name got called out, I was pretty happy,” Lecy said.

Although he doesn’t know yet if he’s trying out for the honors orchestra next year, Rabaey said there may be a possibility.

“My teacher’s pushing for that,” Rabaey said.