This past November, students at Farmington High School were preparing for the Northern Regional Music Festival, which determined their position in their Connecticut All-Conference ensemble. With April just around the corner, those students who qualified for the CT All-Conference ensemble are working towards their final, and most challenging performance.
The best high school musicians from across the state, ranging from students in band, orchestra, and choir, were put together to play a series of concerts in January, leading up to their last performance in April,in which they will be in the presence of multiple renowned college conductors.These musicians will be performing together at the Connecticut Convention Center from April 2 to April 4, staying the night at the Hartford Marriott, giving the musicians an opportunity to bond with other musicians who have come from all across the state.
Just from Farmington High School alone, there were 33 students who qualified for All-State, which is a great number of musicians with most schools hoping to put at least just a few students through to All-State. A typical All-State choir has around 350 vocalists, and of those roughly 350 students, 21 will be representing FHS. The All-State orchestra has five students representing FHS, and the All-State band has three students from FHS. Sophomore Andy Dong is a part of the Wind Ensemble at the high school, the highest level group for band, and is one of the three people who qualified for the All-State band.
“I remember the most challenging part was adapting to the high expectations. After all, being in the All-State band means you are playing with the best musicians in the state.” Dong said.
Dong qualified for the All-State band last year and only looks for improvement each year he auditions. With these talented musicians all coming together from across the state, many students are pushed to work harder and improve their own skills during this process.
Music Department Chair Leslie Imse holds high expectations for all the musicians and pushed many students to do better than the standard they had previously held themselves to, which adds to the success of Farmington students excelling at their auditions.
“I want to say that Farmington music department has a long history of excellence and we always have the highest number of students in the north region of Connecticut quality for the CT All-Conference always.” Imse said.
Imse also accredits the three music teachers at the high school, band teacher Jeffrey Ventres, orchestra teacher Shannon Prouty, and choir teacher Louise Carozza, who have worked diligently with their students and dedicated their time into helping their students achieve success and meet or succeed their own personal standards.