The Bleu Print

Celtic With A Kick! CHO Celebrates 20th Anniversary at Annual Hometown Show

Zia Pentescu, Editor-in-Chief

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Two decades ago, the Chelsea House Orchestra was born. With the help of CHS Orchestra Director Jed Fritzemeier and a rotating cast of dedicated students, CHO has since grown into a thriving, talented group of musicians. The group celebrated its 20th anniversary last Saturday night at the annual Hometown Show in the CHS auditorium to a nearly-full audience of family, friends, and fans.

Over the past 20 years, CHO has become something of a traveling act, with frequent trips to Alma, Michigan, and [some other place]. This past summer, thanks to a bit of fundraising and generous community support, CHO was able to make the trek overseas and tour Scotland, where they got an immersive, hands-on experience with celtic music and Scottish culture. They played some gigs, met some locals, ate some haggish, and had an all-around great time.

 

CHO showcased the result of all their hard work from this year at the latest hometown show, in which they mixed a host of traditional fiddle tunes with some of their quirky signature “celtic with a kick” arrangements. They were joined by the Beach Middle School Fiddle Club, renowned three-piece string band The Moxie Strings, and a surprise gaggle of CHO alumni, who took the stage at the end of the night in a heartwarming ensemble performance.

If the immense talent and dedication of this congregation of select band and orchestra members continues, another 20 years may very well be in the cards for the unique Chelsea House Orchestra.

“Anna may be our newest senior but brings so much to CHO. She is confident, supportive and one of the most outgoing and friendly members you will meet. A natural born leader who encourages everyone to have fun and her generous spirit brings such joy to our stage. She plays clarinet and also happens to be one of the drum majors with the CHS Marching Band.”

“Lydia has heard CHO music probably longer than any of us as her father heads up the Beach Middle School Fiddle Club in which she is a mentor. She also had the incredible distinction of being sole musician representing Chelsea High School at the Michigan Music Conference in January. Congratulations to her! Lydia is a hard working musician who is always pushing herself to improve. She has been amazing with each new generation of CHO members that come in each year helping each gain confidence and grow under her leadership. We will miss Lydia’s quiet strength and calm confidence up on stage!”

“Meghan is the one who brings a little zen to CHO. A quiet leader with a peaceful spirit she is a joy to watch get lost in her music. Meghan is a great photographer and has quite the artistic eye. And if you’ve never heard her bring a little “Orange Blossom Special” to a CHO version of Around the Room, you’ve been missing out!”

“Reed follows a lineage of CHO members, seeing his 2 older sisters go before him. He is the rhythm keeper of the bunch playing the super cool djembe in the back. He’s hard to miss as he’s the tallest of the bunch as well. Reed is the glue that keeps CHO together as he’s the senior that was voted Student Representive last year as the go between members and the board. He’s on the wrestling team at CHS and plays cello in the high school’s Symphony Orchestra. Dependable and always willing to work with anyone, Reed has been an awesome piece of the Chelsea House Orchestra.”

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