ANDERSON—Students from all over South Carolina auditioned for All-State Orchestra in January, and several Anderson School District One students were recognized among the top in the state.
Students from Wren Middle and High, Powdersville High and Palmetto High were chosen from a group of talented musicians in January at Lexington High School.
Those students earned the opportunity to perform at the All-State Festival, which was held Feb. 22 through Feb. 24, 2013 at University of South Carolina’s Koger Center in Columbia, SC.
Wren Middle was represented by eighth grade students, Racheal Owens and Skyler Lorey, while Wren High was represented by seniors Jada Tate, Hayden Campbell, and Colin Pate.
Powdersville High was represented by Lee Street and Devyn Keen, who are both sophomores, and Palmetto High was represented by sophomore Clint Davis, and senior Mary-Cate Rogers.
The students had an opportunity to rehearse with world renowned conductors and gave a solid performance at the All-State Festival.
“This gives them a chance to work with other conductors who are, most of the time, college professors. You wouldn’t normally get to work with people of that status,” Powdersville High Orchestra teacher Heather Raffini said. “It kind of broadens the horizons in terms of their ability level because it is harder music than what they are getting in class.”
The middle school orchestra was conducted by famous composer, Richard Meyer.
This group performed original works by Meyer including Earogami and music inspired by traditional music of Thailand. The ninth and tenth grade orchestra worked with Anderson conductor Alex Spainhour.
Spainhour led the students in an exciting rendition of Verdi’s Nabucco. The junior and senior orchestra was led by the virtuoso violist and conductor David Becker.
Dr. Becker and the students performed Tchaikovsky’s Romeo and Juliet with passion and skill.
All of the groups received numerous standing ovations from the packed audience.
Raffini said the whole ordeal was special for her students.
“We’re still kind of small at Powdersville High School and this gives students the opportunity to play music in a big orchestra,” Raffini said. “They get to play music that they wouldn’t normally have access to because of the size of the school. It’s really great.”
Anderson One orchestras are led by Raffini, Candace Henry, Joshua Miller and Brian Velasco.