The Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District Orchestra Festival was held February 7-10 at Beaver Area High School.
Students were afforded the chance to play in a symphonic string orchestra with nearly 150 other students from northwestern Pennsylvania.
“This is something that would never happen in our school, and something that they may never have the opportunity to do again,” said Armstrong High School Band Director Jason Venesky. He is also the Music Department Chair for the Armstrong School District.
All the students audition for the opportunity to perform in the Western Region Orchestra which will be held at Sharon High School in March. AHS student Anthony Murray earned his way to this festival on French Horn.
The students were selected by directer recommendation and the availability and need for the instruments they play.
“We were fortunate to have so many representatives, as the orchestra was primarily comprised of students who have a string program in their respective schools; the closest being Indiana, Butler, and Mars,” Venesky said.
PMEA is made up of over 4500 music instructors from preschool to professors. The organization promotes and supports quality music education, learning and performance as well as promoting and supporting music education in schools and communities. All of the Armstrong School District music teachers are members of the PMEA.
The guest conductor for the festival was Dr. Jeffrey M. Tedford, Director of Orchestral Activities and Associate Professor of Music at Grove City College.