Vibrant Violist

Senior Reese Rich earns all-state orchestra honors


Courtesy of Reese Rich

Dressed in his tuxedo, senior Reese Rich poses for a picture at the all-state orchestra concert.

Senior Reese Rich was recently nominated for all-state orchestra. He was one of only 12 viola players in the entire state of Missouri to be nominated.

Rich talked about how he started learning a string instrument.

“I started with the Suzuki program in third grade like most other students,” Rich said. 

Senior Alex Henricksen, his stand partner, was not surprised to hear that Rich had made all-state.

“He’s one of the best we have in the orchestra. I listen a lot to what he’s playing and learn from what he’s doing. He deserves to be all-state,” she said.

According to Rich, the all-state concert was a huge success.

“It went very well,’ he said. ‘The conductor was from UMKC’s orchestra and he made a great environment for some great musicians.”

South’s regular orchestra teacher, Lucy Arbini, has been on maternity leave for much of the school year, and Doris McCarter has taken her place as a substitute. According to McCarter, she only had experience as a choir and band teacher. Luckily, Rich has been there to help with her transition to teaching orchestra.

“Reese is pretty quiet. It was clear from the beginning that he’s quiet but he definitely leads by example, and it helps me out a lot,” she said.

Arbini is scheduled to return to South on Feb. 27. This will be just in time for the orchestra’s first concert since Arbini left for maternity leave. The concert is on March 14, at the Family Arena in St. Charles. The concert starts at 7:30 p.m. With so little time to prepare, nerves are at an all-time high,

“There is a lot of added stress for the upcoming concert,’ Rich said. ‘We won’t have very much time to practice with Mrs. Arbini.”

Luckily, McCarter has been in touch with Arbini throughout the process and according to McCarter, Arbini is confident that the concert will be a success because of students like Rich.

For Rich, the future in music is unclear, but he does know one thing for sure.

“I hope to play music in college,’ Rich said. ‘Who knows what the future holds beyond there, but I hope that music is a part of my life beyond college as well.”