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The student news site of Baldwin High School

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The Purbalite

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Smeal places second at PMEA Honors Orchestra

Sophomore+Carter+Smeal+has+made+second+place+two+years+in+a+row+at+the+PMEA+Honors+Orchestra+competition.
Kenzie Hirt
Sophomore Carter Smeal has made second place two years in a row at the PMEA Honors Orchestra competition.

Last Friday and Saturday, sophomore Carter Smeal played cello at Mount Lebanon High School for PMEA Honors Orchestra, and he placed second out of 16 selected cello performers.

Auditions for the competition were held in September. Roughly 200 students across Allegheny, Washington, Westmoreland, Greene, and Fayette counties auditioned for various parts of the orchestra. About 74 students were selected to represent the counties. 

“There were around 50 cello players that auditioned across all the school districts. I feel pretty excited about the placement,” Smeal said.

The auditions were blind auditions, so the judges strictly based their decisions on the sound of the music.

“There is a list of songs that each instrument section has to prepare for. When you go to the audition, they tell the student to play two excerpts from the piece of music they learned,” band teacher Marissa Virgin said. 

Virgin said she had total confidence that Carter would excel in this competition, especially since he placed second at the same event last year.

“He is a hard-working student and practices at least an hour every day. He has earned his talent and worked for it. He is a member of the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra as well. He puts all of his energy into this, and I’m very proud of him,” Virgin said. 

Smeal said he has had positive feedback from his performance.

“My family is very proud of me. No one else from Baldwin made it into the competition over the weekend,” Smeal said.  

Virgin said she has a lot of confidence Smeal will do well in the upcoming PMEA competition in February and hopefully advance to the state level. 

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About the Contributors
Seth Franco, Multimedia Editor
Multimedia Editor Seth Franco is a senior in his third year on the Purbalite. When he's not writing, he often practices the drums, plays tennis, and sketches. 
Kenzie Hirt, News Editor
News Editor Kenzie Hirt is a senior in her third year on the Purbalite staff. When she isn’t running for cross country and track, she can be found listening to Morgan Wallen or hanging out with friends.
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