Music students make it into PMEA Districts

Avery Greenaway and Savannah Nguyen

Four students from Highlander Choir, two students from band, and two students from orchestra have made it into Pennsylvania Music Educators Association performance groups.

Seniors Sarah Pavlick and Max Burrell are part of the PMEA Honors Orchestra, and trombone players senior Jacob Lombardi and junior D.J. Pickell are part of PMEA Honors Band. They will go on to compete with students from five districts in southwestern Pennsylvania.

Greg Steele, the high school’s band director, said the instrumental audition process includes learning a solo specific to the student’s instrument and preparing an entire given piece. The preparation process is very rigorous because the music is challenging, he said.

Pavlick has been part of the program for three years now.

“I’ve definitely improved as a musician. The first year, I was 20th chair, and this year, I made my goal of a single digit with ninth chair,” she said.

The students now learn pieces to perform in concert in late November.

The program also brings together musicians from different school districts.

“It’s also made me more outgoing. For example, the first year I auditioned, I was the only Baldwin student who made it, so I got experience meeting new people and I’ve made a lot of friends,” Pavlick said.

The high school’s choir director, Kristen Tranter, said 11 students from Baldwin auditioned for spots in the PMEA choir and four students made it in. Pickell, senior Robbie Miller, sophomore Jordan Dowley, and freshman Alexis Zanotti earned chairs.

These students now have to learn multiple pieces to perform as a district choir with a guest director in concert on Oct. 28.