Local band students make the grade

Westfield High School band members Carolyn Dufraine and John Kiefer have been selected to participate in the upcoming Massachusetts Music Educators All-State Music Festival at Boston Symphony Hall, March 2, 2013. (Photo by chief photographer Frederick Gore)

WESTFIELD – Ten Westfield High School band members have made All Western Mass, including two members who will be representing Westfield High in the All State Band. These events are both put on by the Massachusetts Music Educators Association.
Ginny Svec, Amaya Diana, Nick Beauchemin, and Kayla Roskey are the four freshmen who have made the Junior District Band that includes grades seven through nine, while upperclassmen Carolyn Dufraine, John Kiefer, Matthew Perreault, and Natalie Diltz have made the Senior District Band.
With their high Western Mass audition scores, Carolyn Dufraine and John Kiefer auditioned for the All State Band and were selected. They will perform with the All State Band at Boston Symphony Hall at a three day event in March.
According to Westfield High School Band Director Patrick Kennedy, performing at this world-class venue is “like standing on the mound at Fenway Park or Yankee Stadium” for these musicians.
Students who auditioned came from over 70 different schools, and some hopefuls practiced for months ahead of time. Kennedy helped coach many of the Westfield High musicians as they rehearsed.
In the spring, students were given lists of what they had to prepare for the event, and were expected to cite read during their audition. Performers were judged based on a two page rubric, and those who did well enough made it.

Westfield High School band members, front row, left-right, Amaya Diana, Matthew Perreault, Carolyn Dufraine, John Kiefer and rear row, left-right, Nick Beauchemin, Natalie Diltz, Kayla Roskey and Ginny Svec will be performing in the following venues: students Beauchemin, Diana, Roskey and Svec will perform in the Massachusetts Music Educators Association Western Mass Junior Festival (MMEA) at the University of Massachusetts, March 16, 2013. Performing in the MMEA -WD Senior Music Festival at the University of Massachusetts will be students, Diltz, Dufraine, Kiefer and Perreault, January 12, 2013. Dufraine and Kiefer will also participate in the MMEA All-State Music Festival, March 2, 2013 at Boston Symphony Hall. (Photo by chief photographer Frederick Gore)

Although not every student who auditioned from Westfield High made All Western Mass, Kennedy said that he is proud of all the kids who auditioned and that every one of them deserves recognition. In addition, musicians involved in All Western Mass Band or All State Band will bring back their knowledge and experiences to share with other current Westfield High band members.
Kennedy also added that “as a Westfield High Director, it’s so nice to see volunteers involved”. These volunteers include the four Band Directors from the Westfield School District who have continuously showed their support.
The All Western Mass Band will perform at their concert next Saturday, January 12 at UMass. The All State Band is slated to perform at Boston Symphony Hall on March 2.

Gateway sends flute players to Sr. District Concert
 HUNTINGTON – Instrumental Music Director Beth Guertin is pleased to announce that two flute players from Gateway Regional High School were named to the Western Massachusetts Music Educators (WMMEA) District Festival Band, the outcome of auditions held on November 12th.
Senior Samantha Levreault and junior Sydney Thompson, both flutes players, were not only named to the elite regional concert band, but also received recommendations for the MMEA All State Music Festival in 2012 and 2013.
Gateway’s Instrumental Music Director Beth Guertin was delighted with the news. “I am very proud of how far they’ve come, and feel incredibly fortunate to have such wonderful students here at Gateway. They have both worked hard, and I’m very happy to see that work pay off! It also makes a big difference that both girls study with private flute teachers. Many thanks to them as well!”
This is the third consecutive year that Thompson has qualified for the Sr. District music festival, and the fourth for Levreault. Both girls also participated in the Jr. District Festivals as 7th and 8th graders.

Sydney Thompson (left) and Samantha Levreault (right), flute players from Gateway Regional High School performing next weekend at the WMMEA Sr. District Festival Concert. (Photo submitted)

Students from throughout Western Massachusetts who qualified for the music festival will perform January 12 at 3:00 p.m. at the UMASS Fine Arts Center. The snow date is January 13.
Levreault is the daughter of Susan and Mark Levreault of Worthington, and studied flute with Sarah Swersey of the Northampton Community Music Center.
Thompson is the daughter of Wendy Thompson of Russell, and studies with Lynn Winsor of Huntington.

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