A Tradition of Excellence for 100 Years

A Tradition of Excellence for 100 Years

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by Olivia Thomas

Goshen High School Orchestra has “a tradition of excellence” that has lasted, this year, for 100 years. Not many schools in this area have an orchestra, let alone one that has lasted for 100 years.

The first orchestra of Goshen was started in 1915 by Gerald Dinkeloo, who was a music teacher for 12 years until retiring in 1923. The position was then passed onto Reginald Brinklow. Under Brinklow a grade school string program consisting of 40 students was formed. Mr. Marshall Howenstein was established as its first director.

In 1933, the GHS Orchestra placed 2nd in a National Competition held in Illinois. That same year our orchestra played in the World Fair in Chicago. How many schools get to say that their orchestra played in a World Fair?

Reginald Brinklow worked as a director of the orchestra for 38 years retiring in 1961.

Within the 1990s Goshen Orchestra was the Indiana State School Music Association State Finalist three times. Susan Ellington was hired in 1996 as the Orchestra Director, her career being one that we are extremely proud of here at Goshen.

Ellington took the GHS Orchestra to the ISSMA State multiple times in her time at Goshen. In her career at Goshen, the orchestra was the State Finalist in 1998, 2002, 2010, and 2012. Now that may not seem like many years to be in the State Finals, but the orchestra was in the top 5 finalists 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009. Ellington retired in 2014 after 18 years of directing Goshen Orchestras.

1916 Goshen Orchestra (photo retrieved from goshenorchestras.org).

1916 Goshen Orchestra (photo retrieved from goshenorchestras.org).

In May of 2016, Goshen Orchestra will be holding a concert as a commemoration of the 100 year anniversary of the orchestra being created. The orchestra is having a piece created for this concert specifically. All the orchestras, Grade 5 through Symphonic, will be performing the piece in the Main Gym of Goshen High School on Sunday, May 22 at 3 p.m.

“I would like to invite all of the community to come to this celebration for the orchestra program. We want to honor our past while making history at the same time,” said Jason Pfeifer, one of the current directors of Goshen High School Orchestras.

The orchestra is looking for a large amount of support from the community for this celebration. The event is open to the public for free meaning there should be a packed house. Hope to see you this spring to help support the Goshen Orchestra program.

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