Teacher Profile: Orchestra Director Ms. Seina Shirakura

Polina Frenkel, Campus Reporter

Ms. Shirakura,  current director of Orchestra, has been teaching at Kent for five years. Prior to Kent, she worked in private elementary schools as an instructor of violin and viola, and taught students in her private studio. Outside of the music arena, Ms. Shakura enjoys photography, hiking, playing golf and tennis, and playing with her one year old Golden Retriever, Cooper.

Ms. Shirakura enjoys being a part of the Kent School’s orchestra especially because of Kent’s inclusion. “Kent School Orchestra brings together students of all ages, from all walks of life. There are students in the ensemble who have played their instrument for nine or more years, with students who are entering year two and working hard to achieve their goals of being in a performing ensemble,” she says. Adding to this, there are so many opportunities for students to venture into different instruments outside of rehearsals, and the combining of students’ experiences creates a rich culture.

For Ms. Shirakura, the most challenging aspect of teaching orchestra is to balance all levels of playing while maintaining consistency in the quality of performances. “Doing this with limited rehearsal time is always a thrill that keeps us on our toes! This can also be the most gratifying aspect, as seeing so many students of different backgrounds and levels of playing can come together and make such beautiful music together with no verbal communication,” she says. 

Miss Shirakura invites students who may be interested in joining the orchestra to give it a try. “Being a part of an ensemble is such a rewarding part of a Kent School musician’s daily routine, and students in performing ensembles would agree that aside from playing great music, the social aspect of seeing many of your peers together in the evenings is a treat!” Ms. Shirakura smiles.