Pierce’s orchestra members don’t miss the days when they had to practice openly without the proper area or equipment.
Conductor Mark Jasinski and the orchestra program now are able to use the new Arts and Allied Health building. Whereas the first year the program was here, members had to practice the only place they could: the Connections Café.
“I feel like the orchestra is being more appreciated by getting a room of its own rather than having to play in random areas,” said Hailey Jaksha, a violinist for four years.
The orchestra will be able to use the practice rooms, a fully-equipped rehearsal room and the concert hall. Looking back, Jasinski said the Connection Café and the AAH building was “like comparing a Tic Tac box with a pound of See’s Chocolate.”
Pierce College Puyallup has been home to an established orchestra program for four years. Violins, cellos, violas and basses all gather every Thursday from 7:30-9:30 p.m. and work to bring their music to life.
“Playing in the orchestra is a joy, and it’s not so much about performing as much about getting together with other musicians and playing music,” says Wayne Chan, the first cellist for the last four years.
Jasinski, who has led the orchestra for four years, also shares the enthusiasm for the program.
“The orchestra program is about more than just playing. It’s a chance to make friends, perform for an audience, and build the community,” he says.
Jasinski learned to play the piano at age 6 and the violin by fourth grade. He continued to learn instruments, such as the mandolin and the viola, just for the fun of it.
His love for music quickly grew into a passion. He earned a bachelor’s degree in music and a master’s degree from Brigham Young University. From there he began teaching. He’s been teaching orchestras for the last 40 years.
While teaching at Pierce, Jasinski has focused on playing fun string music. He elaborates beyond just playing by teaching his students the origin of the songs, the hidden jokes within the music and how to perform them correctly.
Jasinski appreciates the chance for the orchestra to utilize the wonderful resources found in the AAH building. He also encourages students to become involved in the arts scene.
“The arts scene in colleges can be very dynamic,” said Jasinski. “I hope that it can be nurtured here at Pierce College.”
He is attempting to help students get involved in their community by putting on concerts in the AAH building.
The orchestra’s first concert, along with the choir, is at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3. in the AAH theater.
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