Segerstrom: A Bittersweet Last Performance for Seniors

Beckman’s successful annual performance at Segerstrom Center for the Arts leaves many seniors nostalgic for everything they have done as a part of Beckman’s Wind Ensemble and String Orchestra

March 14, 2020


Mr. Kollias, conductor of Beckman’s String Orchestra, conducts students at Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Photo Courtesy of Tiffany Chen

COSTA MESA – On March 7, 2020, students from Beckman’s Wind Ensemble and String Orchestra gathered at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts for their annual Segerstrom concert at 7 p.m.


Junior Sarina Doshi performed for the first time at Segerstrom as a double bass player for the String Orchestra. Although a little nervous at first, Doshi quickly eased into the music, soaking in the excitement of the night. “During our performance, I had a lot of adrenaline going, so I don’t remember much,” she laughed. “But afterward, everyone was so happy and smiling that I knew we had done well!” 


In anticipation for the performance, students spent hours the week before practicing their songs. Even though Wind Ensemble and String Orchestra had been working on the music for a few months leading up to Segerstrom, the past few weeks of February were dedicated to rehearsals for Beckman’s production of “Beauty and the Beast,” so the week before Segersrom was an intense week for practice, preparing Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt Suites.


For senior Bryan Nguyen, it was the second and final time performing at Segerstrom as a cellist for the String Orchestra. The festival ended on a high note for Nguyen, who was very happy with his performance and that of his peers. To Nguyen, the most satisfying moment of the concert was playing the last note in Evard Grieg’s “In the Hall of the Mountain King.” “Hearing that last Fortississimo note ring through the hall and the audience’s applause was such a memorable moment,” he said. Nguyen felt proud of being a part of Beckman’s String Orchestra with all of its accomplishments and life-changing opportunities it has offered him.


The Segerstrom concert, to Nguyen, is a quintessential part of the Beckman Orchestra experience — all String Orchestra players perform at the arts center at least once before the end of their high school orchestra careers. “This performance was different in that it felt bittersweet at the end; knowing it was my last time performing at that particular hall made me really savor the moment on and offstage,” Nguyen said. 


Friends and family all came out to support the band and orchestra students. “I was really impressed by their playing,” said senior Huevi La. “They all had good expression, and it was really cool to see my friends onstage.” 


Bryan Nguyen (third from the right) smiles for the camera after his last Segerstrom performance with Mr. Kollias and his friends from Beckman’s String Orchestra. Photo Courtesy of Bryan Nguyen

After the concert, all students gather offstage to take pictures with friends, family and teachers. Many seniors would agree with Nguyen’s observation of the performance’s bittersweetness, as many were aware that it would be the last time they would perform at Segerstrom as a member of Beckman’s String Orchestra. “The Segerstrom showcase has been a constant in my orchestra experience and a festival I’ve come to look forward to for years,” said Nguyen. “It’s an incredible experience I’ve shared with friends I’ve known since elementary school.” 


Concerts like Segerstrom have been outlets for students to create a musical family with their band and orchestra peers while also honing their craft. Next year, juniors in orchestra and band will have one last opportunity to perform with their peers at the hall before they, too, will graduate and move on.


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