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.

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.


Elementary chorus

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