Fanfare of All State chair carries far for students
Selection to the band, orchestra or chorus can bring recognition by colleges and the thrill of performing with peers.
By DONNA WINCHESTER
Published January 19, 2005
ST. PETERSBURG - Talia Quartetti got more than she bargained for when she agreed to perform with other aspiring musicians in the All State honors band.
Besides representing her school and her district, the 14-year-old was chosen for first chair flute. She received an invitation from a college recruiter to tour the band program at New York University. She also had the thrill of playing music with a group of young people as dedicated as she is.
"The first thing I noticed was that the kids really wanted to be there," she said. "They had lots of respect for the band director. They were very focused."
Talia, an eighth-grader at Meadowlawn Middle School who has played flute since third grade, was among 105 Pinellas students selected for this year's All State band, orchestra and chorus. The students performed at the annual conference of the Florida Music Educators Association earlier this month in Tampa.
Being chosen for All State is an honor, district music supervisor Jeanne Reynolds said. A rigorous audition process requires students to either make a tape or perform live before a group of judges. Chorus students take a written test.
Elementary students are eligible to try out for All State chorus, while middle and high school students try out for one of several choruses, bands or orchestras.
Elementary music teachers generally suggest which children should audition. Older students usually make the decision to try out on their own, although their teachers can nominate them.
Each band and orchestra has a designated number of spots, Reynolds said. If an orchestra needs two bassoons, only two students would be chosen regardless of the number of excellent bassoon players in the state.
"It's a great process whether they make it or not, especially for kids who are in high school and thinking about auditioning for college music programs," Reynolds said.
This year, about 2,300 students were chosen for All State from music students throughout Florida, said James Perry, executive director of the Florida Music Educators Association.
"For many of the students, it's a culminating experience that allows them to have a higher level musical experience than they might be able to achieve in their own schools," Perry said.
"Lots of schools have great music organizations, but when a student gets in a room full of kids who have the same level of mastery, that's really something special."
As in past years, the students had a limited amount of time to practice before their performance. The seventh- and eighth-grade honors band practiced for a couple of hours shortly after arriving at the conference and then practiced from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. the next day.
"You would swear these kids had played together for years," said Mary Ann Quartetti, Talia's mother.
"To take 120 kids who for the most part have never met each other and have certainly never played together before and have this incredible performance was so neat."
Many of the students who played in the All State groups also will perform in one of several All County concerts, Reynolds said.
The All County orchestra, middle school band and high school chorus are scheduled to appear at the Mahaffey Theater on Jan. 27. The All County high school band, middle school chorus and jazz band will perform at Mahaffey on Jan. 28. The All County elementary chorus will perform at Pasadena Community Church in February.ALL STATE MUSIC STUDENTS
Erin Wronka, Brooker Creek Elementary
Abhimanyu Janamanchi, Leila Davis Elementary
Matthew Mogensen, Rebecca Anderson, Danielle Mohr and Daniel Szyszka, Garrison-Jones Elementary
Makayla Quarles and Robert Ward, Tarpon Springs Fundamental
Kathryn Davis and Wagner Schulz, Carwise Middle
Leanna Harvin, Kennedy Middle
Kayla Flannery, Largo Middle
Talia Quartetti, Meadowlawn Middle
Spencer Herran, Oak Grove Middle
Keegan Musser, Safety Harbor Middle
Cameron Creveling and Evan Rizzo, Seminole Middle
Sawyer Zent, Southside Fundamental
Anastasha Seiler, Boca Ciega High
Christopher Hamann, East Lake High
Katie D'Elia, Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High
Ingrid Schulz, Palm Harbor University High
Jeffrey Wright, Dillon Wright and Richard Brickey, St. Petersburg High
Alex O'Neil, Priscilla Rinehart, Tyler Breland and William Norris, Seminole High
Alex Lore, Cody Carson and Christina Cruder, Tarpon Springs High
Trevor Nimmo, William Vebert, Alexander Moore Brocato, Scott Moran, Kyle Gee, Sasha Molina, Lindsay Bennett, Nicole Young, Meghan McGonnigle, Kelly Young, Ariana Segal, Kyra Messinetti and Ilana Mobly, Carwise Middle
Lindsay Bussa and Alexandra Pendergast, Dunedin Middle
India Welch, Alex Ingram, Michele Parry, Marissa Koch and Aaron Lachowicz, John Hopkins Middle
Blake Doner, Largo Middle
Ashley Martinez and Kelley Wooten, Madeira Beach Middle
Stephanie Basti, Mary-Ellis Glymph, Melody Delaney and Zoe Fisher, Oak Grove Middle
Mason Smith, Osceola Middle
Nathan Daugherty, David Ko, Jessica O'Neil, Jenna Lawhead, Rachel Granata and Kelsie Hubbard, Safety Harbor Middle
Sara Higger, Katie Dyer, Aleece Albritton, Victoria Massimo, Taylor Mandalou, Sarah Balionis, Sarah Putrie and Victoria Edwards, Tarpon Springs Middle
Veronica Zazzaro, Countryside High
Jeanette Beswick, Dixie Hollins High
Catlin Pearse, Dunedin High
Manvel Franco and Mark Donald, East Lake High
Phillip Dvoracsek, Matthew Pavone, Bobby Pace, Dylan Glatthorn, Carlos Camacho and Diana Hunter, Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High
Rene Elosge, Osceola High
Jazzy Simons, Natalie Fady and Jennifer Auld, Seminole High
Kristen Edwards and Alex Losee, Tarpon Springs High
Eli Marger, Bay Point Middle
Kelcy Duggan, Dunedin Middle
Somah Sameni and Myah Farrington, Palm Harbor Middle
Allison Rodell, Southside Fundamental
Lauramarie Laskey and Keanan Augereau, Palm Harbor University High
Zachery Bowers and Ryan Meehan, St. Petersburg High
Brad Shafer, Daniel Chastain, Ryan Howard, Robert Bowman and Daniel Boston, Seminole High