Musicians from this school to perform at Boston Symphony Hall

The Newtonite

by Peter Diamond
Eight musicians from this school will perform in the Massachusetts Music Educator’s Association All-State Festival Saturday at Boston Symphony Hall, according to fine and performing arts department head Todd Young.
Freshman Spencer Anderson will participate in the Orchestra. Junior Shereen Sodder and sophomore Ned Martenis will play in the Concert Band. Junior Zachary Balder will play in the Jazz Band. Seniors Pamela Chen, Jesse Tripathi and Melissa Weikart and junior Sam McCall will be members of the Chorus.
“The purpose of All-States is to provide an opportunity for some of the finest high school music students across the Commonwealth to participate in ensembles of extraordinary high level with perfect instrumentation and with world class conductors,” said Young.
In order to earn this opportunity, musicians went through an audition process.
“The Orchestra audition was at a high school,” said Anderson. “They gave us some time to warm up, and then in groups of two, we were taken upstairs into a room with one judge. Over the course of four or five minutes, I played two scales, a piece of music and a few lines of sight reading.”
Chorus members were recommended for All-States after auditioning for a smaller, district-wide event, according to Tripathi.
Martenis described his experience at the Concert Band auditions.
“The audition selection was quite challenging,” said Martenis. “Being a sonata, it is a traditionally difficult flute solo accompanied by a piano. However, in the audition, I had no accompaniment, which made phrasing and musicality difficult.”
To try out for the Jazz Band, Balder played a piece of music in front of judge, recited some scales, improvised and sight-read, he said.

Conducted by Guillermo Figueroa, who has achieved worldwide acclaim for performances across the United States and internationally, the Orchestra will perform pieces by Antonín Dvořák and Richard Wagner, according to Anderson.

The Concert Band will play pieces by Frank Ticheli, John Philip Sousa and Leonard Bernstein, according to Martenis. The conductor will be T. Andre Feagin, an assistant professor of music at the University of Texas, said Sodder.

The Chorus will perform six pieces, including “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Conducted by Jeffrey W. Holmes, a professor of music at UMass Amherst, the Jazz Band will play two pieces arranged by Holmes, among other songs, according to Balder.
Balder said he is looking forward to the event. “Of course I’m excited,” said Balder. “I get to stay at a hotel in Boston, meet some great musicians and then play at Symphony Hall.”
Tripathi echoed Balder’s sentiment.
“Performing in Symphony Hall will be a once in a lifetime experience,” said Tripathi.