By Shayla Scallorn
Social Media Editor
A record setting 10 Red Lion students successfully auditioned and performed at the PMEA District Choir Festival Saturday Jan. 14.
The Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, or “PMEA” has been bringing the state’s top musicians together to perform since 1933. The festivals give the students an opportunity to work under the direction of college level conductors, and also showcase their talents.
“The festival was the most fun and enriching music experience of my life,” junior Tori Stigile said. “Dr. Beeken, the guest conductor, did a marvelous job.”
Students have to wait until their sophomore year until they are eligible to audition but once they are, they are encouraged by their teachers and peers to take their skills to the next level.
“I had no idea what to expect going into the festival and I was actually a bit nervous that it wouldn’t be as great as everyone made it out to be,” sophomore Gavin Zieber said. “But the experience was awesome, I learned so much about singing and ways to improve my voice.”
With so many skilled singers across the state, the competition is stiff for these festivals and the audition process can be intimidating.
“I saw a bunch of Bass 1’s waiting to audition and knowing that only a select number were going to be accepted really didn’t help my nerves,” Zieber said. “The best thing that helped keep my calm was talking to some of the others around me rather than focusing on the audition itself.”
One of the first things that takes place at Districts is the next round of auditions for Regionals. Six out of the 10 students will be moving on to this next step. They can now start preparing not only for the next festival but also for states.
Choral Director Tom Wise credits this year’s success with the students hard work, dedication and high level of talent. For them, music is a huge part of who they are and these festivals allow them to not only do something that they love, but also work side by side with others who share that passion.
“Music has saved my life multiple times. When life gets in the way music is always there,” Stigile said. “Without it I wouldn’t be who I am today.”
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