Student musicians perform in selective music festival

Pei Chao Zhuo, Photography and Media Editor

Four students from the Music Department were invited to perform at the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) All-Eastern Music Festival. The festival featured accomplished student musicians from throughout the Northeast. The event took place from April 4 to April 7 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Seniors Saadhvi Kartik, Tristan Wong, and Pooja Swami were part of the All-Eastern Choir, and junior Lillian Yim, who plays the cello, was a member of the All-Eastern Orchestra. According to Music Department Chair Leslie Imse, 24 students from Connecticut were chosen to participate in the All-Eastern Choir.

“These awards are a testament to the hard work of our students and the dedication of the K-12 music teachers,” Imse said.

Juniors and seniors were eligible to apply to be part of the festival and must have submitted an application by September 21. According to the application instructions from the NAfME, applicants needed to “receive endorsement from his or her school’s principal or superintendent and ensemble director.”

Having also participated in All-National Choir and All-State Choir, Swami “was really excited to be in another high performing ensemble.”

The festival featured five ensembles: band, jazz ensemble, mixed chorus, orchestra, treble voice chorus. They were conducted by Brad Genevro of the University of Texas at El Paso, Denis DiBlasio of Rowan University, Rollo Dilworth of Temple University, Jung-Ho Pak of the Cape Cod Symphony Orchestra, and Sandra Snow of Michigan State University respectively.

“It was a great opportunity to be able to meet and perform with people from all over the northeast region of the USA and to be able to work with such a talented and well-known conductor,” Kartik said.

According to Yim, the pieces the orchestra played were “challenging,” but “the focus and hard work from the musicians and conductor made it possible for us to sound like a professional orchestra.”

Yim noted that during one day, the ensemble practiced for eight hours. She also appreciates the opportunity to witness a performance of Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony by the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra.

“Whenever I participate in a festival similar to All-Eastern, I’m reminded by how powerful and amazing music can be,” Yim said.

Wong believes that participating in selective ensembles that feature student musicians from other schools has allowed him to “encounter some amazing musicians and pursue music at a higher level of excellence.”