District sends 44 musicians to high school All-State

November 24, 2009

By Christopher Huber

Three members of the Skyline High School Vocal Jazz Choir were among nine Spartans accepted in Washington All-State choirs and instrumental groups. Contributed

Three members of the Skyline High School Vocal Jazz Choir were among nine Spartans accepted in Washington All-State choirs and instrumental groups. Contributed

Ever since she was little, Erin Pazaski wanted to play the trumpet. She didn’t know why; she just knew it was something she wanted to do.

The Skyline High School junior trumpet player eventually performed in the Washington Junior All-State band in middle school and has proceeded to play for the high school All-State band and orchestra.

It was the fulfillment of a dream, she said.

“Turned out to be a good choice,” she said.

But she seems most proud of earning one of just four spots in the 2010 Washington All-State Orchestra.

“I’m glad to make it into the orchestra, because there’s fewer spots for trumpet,” she said. “It’s cool to be with a lot of people that are just as good or better than you.”Pazaski is one of 44 student musicians from the Issaquah School District to be accepted into All-State choirs, instrumental groups and other regional honor bands.

This year, all of the instrumentalists who auditioned made it, said Skyline band director Dave Pitt.

“We got lucky,” he said. “Usually it isn’t a uniform response like that.”

Students from around the district have been selected to participate in the three-day instructional clinic that culminates in a gala concert performance.

To be selected for any of the honor groups, students submit audition recordings under the supervision of their music teacher. Judges from the Washington Music Educators Association and the National Association for Music Educators Northwest Division listen to and critique each audition and select the top students.

Skyline choir director Nancy Ziebart said the number of students from their schools who are accepted varies each year. It depends on how many apply and who the judges are. In 2009, 2,446 Washington students auditioned for the high school All-State groups, according to WMEA. More than 1,000 auditioned for junior All-State.

“You have to have the skill to do it, and then you have to have the commitment to make it a decent audition,” Ziebart said.

All-State is divided into the concert band, symphony orchestra, the symphonic choir and the youth honor chorus. Approximately 600 students from Washington participated in the All-State groups in 2009, according the WMEA. The 2010 event will feature eight honor groups.

Upon arriving in Yakima, the musicians will gather in their respective musical groups to rehearse for one to three days, depending on the group. Organizers bring in acclaimed conductors from around the country to lead each musical group.

After long days of practice, the groups, some 120 members strong, perform in a combined concert.

“The concerts are a wonder to listen to,” Pitt said.

The All-State gala concert event is Feb. 12-15 in Yakima and will end with a day of concerts for parents and all who are interested in attending. Tickets are $15 and available at www.ticketswest.com. Learn more about the All-State and All-Northwest honor groups at www.wmea.org/StudentEvents/HSHonorGroups/.

Learn more about the Western International Band Clinic honor bands at www.bandworld.org.

Students honored

Middle schools

4Beaver Lake Middle School: Emily Licholai for band; Calvin Kim and Claudia Moroney for orchestra; and Renee Chaffin and Riley Bancroft for choir

4Issaquah Middle School: Hannah Heyrich for band

4Maywood Middle School: Samantha Stewart for band and Mara Page for orchestra

4Pine Lake Middle School: Helen Wang, Eric Hall, Brian Callans, Brooke Rundle, Brandon Vrinceanu, Tara Fussell and Clayton Dungey for band; Melanie DeJong, Brandon Goh and Isaiah Valera for orchestra; and Brianna Birkel, Caroline Hamblin and Brenden Rosell for choir.

High schools

-Issaquah High School: Emily Tom, Aaron Tocker, and Connor Higgins for band

-Liberty High School: Patrick Connors and Mclane Harrington for band; and Dylan Pertruzzi for choir

-Pacific Cascade Freshman Campus: Sarah Elderkin for band; Maddy Bennett, Courtney Brauff, Emma Kurtenbach, Jack Wheeler, Catie Raissipour, Kaydee Walter and Charlotte Zhao for choir; and Andy Abel for orchestra

-Skyline High School: Erin Pazaski, Elaine Pazaski, P.J. (Peter) Lagow and James Nielsen for band; and Prithvi Addepalli, Kamalu Santos, Nicole Chambers and Michelle Bretl for choir

Christopher Huber: 392-6434, ext. 242, or chuber@isspress.com. Chantelle Lusebrink: 392-6434, ext. 241, or clusebrink@isspress.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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One Response to “District sends 44 musicians to high school All-State”

  1. Joellen Santos on December 4th, 2009 9:24 pm

    A student was omitted from the list:

    Sean Callahan, from Liberty HS, also made All-State Symphonic Choir

    Can we do something to add him/ammend the list.

    (I am his choir teacher at Liberty HS.)

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