GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - As the Gulf Coast Symphony Youth Orchestra warmed up on Sunday, several new faces nervously played along.
"I'm the youngest member in here," said 13-year-old Anders Estorge."It's pretty overwhelming that there are so many amazing people."
Anders wasn't alone. First-timer Spencer Schultz felt the same.
"It's pretty overwhelming, actually, because I've never done this before and there's stuff I've never done before on the strings that I'm doing now," Spencer said.
But as the concert got underway, the newbies blended seamlessly into the symphony.
The junior version of the Gulf Coast Symphony Orchestra played an all-American program at Gulfport High School, including songs made famous by Elvis, and music from the cult classic Raiders of the Lost Ark. Edward O. Miller, who wrote the song "Mississippi" that was part of the program, was even in the crowd.
After the curtains fell on the 45-minute program, there were nothing but smiles in the crowd.
"I'm so proud of the kids. I think they did a good job," said music director Daniel Martinez.
Martinez knows just how hard all of the kids have worked.
"It is unbelievable. Especially in the fall, it's tough because of marching season. A lot of our kids, Gulfport High, D'Iberville, Biloxi. Some of them, the only day off they have is Wednesday night and they choose to be with us," said Martinez.
But for now, veteran performer Anders, knows that practice makes perfect.
"If it's something that you really want to do, it shouldn't be that hard. Especially since, I mean, this is my entire life. I mean Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, so on. It's my life," Anders said.