CONDUCTING THE MELODY— (Above) Roberts leads the students in TOHS orchestra during their Fall Concert. (Below) Roberts stands onstage during their performance in the Performing Arts Center.
ORCHESTRATE Professional violinist Benjamin Roberts offers a wide variety of musical talent and experience in performance to the TO orchestra program. KYLIE PATTERSON
At the age of five, Orchestra teacher Benjamin Roberts picked up the violin and hasn’t put it down since, leading him into a life full of passion for music. Wanting to spread this appreciation to others, he has taken on the role of teacher for the past 10 years, teaching everything from choir to band. Roberts has let his professional experience from being a violinist all around the country shape the way he teaches his students. “I do have a very big professional background as a player and that helps me as a teacher,” Roberts said. “I have a high expectation of how the music should sound, that’s what I’m pushing for.” Roberts has not only taken on the responsibility of conducting Thousand Oaks High School’s two orchestras, he is also the orchestra teacher for Redwood Middle School. He looks forward to transitioning his Redwood Students to TOHS, giving the Orchestra program a solid foundation. “I would like the orchestra to maybe join with other ensembles, and get people more involved with the program, starting in the middle school and then continuing on into the high school,” Roberts said. “That’s the long term goal, to make the program bigger.” Recently, Roberts led the Orchestra in their first performance of the school year, the annual Fall Concert.
“It was a very successful concert, we played a wide variety of challenging music and the students did a great job,” Roberts said. Although he’s been a teacher for many years, Roberts explains that the community w offers is unique to that of other schools he’s worked at. “Thousand Oaks, the campus as a whole is full of really friendly kids and they get along well with each other,” Roberts said. Roberts feels that his orchestra students this year set a high standard for the class for years to come. There’s a lot of wonderful musicians in the group, and the students are really interested in learning,” Roberts said. “That’s been a welcomed experience, to teach students that are interested in learning and really want to improve themselves.” Although, most of his time is dedicated to inspiring students with music, Roberts considers his teaching career just as important as his professional roles in the music industry. “I consider being a musician and teacher the same thing. Being involved with music, making music is what it’s all about,” Roberts said. Presently, Roberts is preparing his students for their upcoming Winter Concert. “I like to have them play a wide variety of music,” Roberts said. “Right now we’re working to improve our playing abilities and musical abilities.”
Come support TOHS Orchestra and go to the Winter Concert on December 12th at 7 pm in the Performing Arts Center.
PHOTOS » FANG-TSAO HONG » WITH PERMISSION