Student musicians end year on high note


Staff writer

The Washington Music Educators Association is singing the praises of 11 Central Kitsap School District students this week.

Nine students from Central Kitsap High School and two from Klahowya Secondary School were recently invited to participate in the 54th Annual WMEA All-State Band, Orchestra and Choral Ensembles, which will take place Feb. 13-18 in Yakima. The students will spend several days auditioning with world-class directors and conductors and will then put on a concert to close out the event.

“I think it’s important for (students) personally,” said Alicia Lundberg, director and chair of the music department at Central Kitsap High School. “I did it in high school and it was one of those life-changing experiences.”

They’re also experiences that benefit entire music programs, not just the students who attend.

“When they come back, they are always so pumped and I always have them share their experience with the (rest of) the choir,” Klahowya Vocal Drama Director Jackie Levenseller said.

CKSD students will have the opportunity to audition under David Flood, director of music at Canterbury Cathedral in the United Kingdom; John Clinton, dean of the College of Arts Media and Design at the University of Central Oklahoma and conductor of the Oklahoma Youth Orchestra; Paula Holcomb, director of bands at the State University of New York in Fredonia; or Judith Willoughby, professor of music and associate director of choral activities at Oklahoma City University.

More than 2,300 students auditioned across the state and less than 1,000 were ultimately selected to participate. Students audition in October at their schools by making a CD recording in the presence of a teacher or music instructor. The CDs are sent into the WMEA and selections occur in early December.

“I didn’t think it was terribly hard,” CKHS junior symphonic choir singer Julie Fergus said of the audition process.

But the first-year selectee, along with a few of her peers, may be in for a shock once they arrive at the six-day program in Yakima.

“Last year, I thought I worked a lot and then I got there and you have to remember (every little detail),” CKHS sophomore symphonic choir singer Shannon Moskowitz said.

There are usually about eight songs to memorize and they all have to be rehearsed in time for the final concert.

“They’re heavy duty pieces,” Lundberg said. “They have just hours of rehearsal; it’s really intense.”

Moskowitz has been singing for most of her life, which may give some indication as to just how difficult some of the songs are.

The weekend will culminate Monday with two concerts scheduled for 9:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. The early concert will feature the treble choir, wind symphony, chamber orchestra and wind ensemble. The later concert will feature the symphony orchestra, symphonic choir and concert band.

In addition to the student concerts, a few others will take place during the weekend. The U.S. Army Brass Quintet will perform Friday night at the Capitol Theatre. The WMEA Youth Honor Chorus will perform Saturday afternoon and the WMEA Jazz Band and Jazz Choir will perform Saturday night.

Tickets for all the concerts can be purchased by calling (877) 330-2787. Tickets also can be purchased at the door.

Students selected for the 54th Annual WMEA All-State Band, Orchestra and Choral Ensembles:

CKHS/instrumental ensembles: Peter Gorak (viola), Sarah Patterson (viola) and Katherine Sugimoto (flute)

CKHS/choral ensembles: Kristine Dyer, Julie Fergus, Meghan Gray, Brianna Harrison, Shannon Moskowitz and Sheree Price

KSS/choral ensembles: Stephanie Malcolm (treble choir) and Cherisse Martinelli (symphonic choir)

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