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Westfield student musicians chosen for unique virtual music festival

WESTFIELD – Westfield High School Band Director Patrick Kennedy this week announced the student musicians chosen by audition to participate in the Massachusetts Music Educators Association-Western District  (MMEA-WD) music festival.

This year, due to COVID-19, each student was required to prepare a video of the audition and submit it for adjudication. Kennedy said most kids recorded their submissions at home, although some chose to record them at school.

WHS and WTA Band Director Patrick Kennedy with the Westfield Technical Academy band. (THE WESTFIELD NEWS)

All of the students listed below will participate in this year’s Western Massachusetts Virtual Music Festival on March 13, 2021. This year’s festival will be unique, Kennedy explained.

“The virtual festival will happen remotely. Students will choose from a menu of specific musical topics that will meet via Zoom with guest clinicians. They will also meet virtually in their ensembles with their conductor and rehearse their concert music. After rehearsal, they will submit individual video recordings of their parts and MMEA will stitch them together into one video performance. It is our first time doing things this way, so it should be a very cool adventure for students and music directors,” Kennedy said.

Students marked with an asterisk also received an All State Recommendation based on their scores. They students will be eligible to audition for Massachusetts Music Educators Association Virtual All State Festival.

Samantha Adamtsev* – grade 10, Concert Band Tuba. Adamtsev received the highest score of all auditions on that instrument from all schools across Western Mass.

Steven Bonacci* – grade 12, Jazz Band Tenor Saxophone, Highest Western Mass score.

Camille Bruno * – grade 9, Chorus Alto.

Hannah Bruno * – grade 12, Chorus Soprano.

Ziyad Ghalayini – grade 11, Jazz Band Auxiliary Percussion.

Ella Hamel – grade 9, Chorus Soprano.

Pratham Makonahally – grade 11, Chorus Bass.

Caitlynn Thomson * – grade 12, Jazz Band Baritone Saxophone, Highest Western Mass score.

Jay Scherpa * – grade 11, Concert Band Bass Trombone, Highest Western Mass score.

Kyle Scherpa * – grade 11, Concert Band French Horn.

Wunnyuriti Ziblim * – grade 9, Concert Band Trombone, Highest Western Mass score.

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