Earlier this month, young musicians from all over Western New York met at Fredonia State College for a weekend of rehearsals, making music, and meeting new and old friends.
"I love the challenge of learning new music," said Carl Lam, a sophomore at Hamburg High School and a violinist in this year's Area All-State Orchestra. The Zone 1 Senior High Area All-State Festival took place Nov. 16 and 17.
Musicians from four counties of Western New York audition at a solo festival in May, and the best are selected to participate in the orchestra, chorus, band, or jazz band. The festival culminates with the two concerts on Saturday at King Concert Hall on the Fredonia campus.
"The most exciting thing is the awareness, the moment when they finally get it right," said James Tapia, director of orchestral activities at Syracuse University and the conductor for this year's orchestra.
The Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Rich Thompson, performed familiar selections such as Duke Ellington's "Caravan." The chorus sang "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and other pieces under the direction of John Sinclair. The orchestra performed Tchaikovsky's "Romeo and Juliet" and Shostakovich's "Festival Overture." Under the direction of Timothy Reynish, the band performed selections such as "Awayday" and "Passacaglia."
Elizabeth Benz is a sophomore at Lancaster.