Elk Lake hosts district orchestra festival

The PMEA District 9 Orchestra Festival was hosted by Elk Lake High School. STAFF PHOTO/STACI WILSON

String players descended en masse upon Elk Lake High School last week for the PMEA District 9 Orchestra festival.
In order to accommodate the large number of instrumentalists from 23 area school districts, students from the Susquehanna Career and Technology Center built an addition for the high school stage.
The orchestra was under the direction of guest conductor Kenneth Jernigan.
Jernigan, a professional bassist, teaches in the Hastings-on-Hudson N.Y., UFSD, where he serves as the conductor of the high school orchestra, band and jazz emsemble, as well as the director of the district’s chamber music program and the steel drum ensemble program.
In the summer, he conducts the Symphony Orchestra at the Performing Arts Institute (PAI) at Wyoming Seminary in Kingston.
Over the three day festival, students spent their time preparing the music for the Saturday afternoon concert.
At the concert, Jernigan told the audience – comprised mostly of parents and music educators – that the students worked hard during the practice time and praised their attitudes and abilities.
The concert kicked off with “Overture to Rienzi,” by Richard Wagner and arranged by Sandra Dackow; followed by Georges Bizet’s “L’Arlisienne, Suite 2 from the Incidental Music.”
The orchestra also performed “Jupiter – Bringer of Jollity” from “The Planets” by Gustav Holst, arranged by Vernon Leidig.
“Themes from ‘Scheherazade’” by Nicholas Rimsky Korsakov, featured a violin solo by Alex Bi of Abington Heights, who served as the Concert Master.
The musical selections culminated with a medley from “Pirates of the Carribean,” by Klaus Badelt, arranged by Ted Ricketts. The medley featured six songs from Walt Disney’s “Pirates of the Carribean: The Curse of the Black Pearl.”
Upon arrival on Thursday afternoon, the students competed for a chance to move on to Region Orchestra, which is slated to be held at Bangor High School in March.
Susquehanna and Wyoming county students attending District Orchestra included:
Elk Lake: Korena Kraynak, Cello. Blue Ridge: Skylar Secord, French horn. Tunkhannock: Sabrina Traver, Violin II. Montrose: Grace Wood, Flute; Lizzie Bennici, Bassoon; Kyra Ricci, French Horn, Georgia Smith, French Horn; Megan McVaugh, Clarinet; Caleb Reyes, Trombone.

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