WHS students going to All State Music Festival

WESTFIELD – When you think of a high school band or a chorus you may disregard them just as kids who simply sing and play music for fun. In fact, they are not only talented, but hardworking, musicians.
This year three students from Westfield High School have been selected to perform in the Massachusetts All State Music Festival and Conference on March 20-22 in Boston. Being chosen to perform in this program is quite an accomplishment in a young person’s musical career.
“In the All State chorus there’s a maximum of two hundred kids who get a spot out of the entire state of Massachusetts,” Westfield High choral director Korey Bruno said. “It’s extremely prestigious. For example, certain instruments have only one spot. In the jazz band there’s only one pianist.”
The students that are performing in the festival are senior Carolyn Dufraine, junior Dan Hickson, and sophomore Reiley Ledoux.
The students first had to have been in the Western District chorus or band concert held back in January. Their district’s score then determined whether or not they could audition for All States. Their score had to be in the top half of a section to be able to audition.
When asked about the preparation process, Ledoux, who will be performing in the All State chorus as an alto, said “I went through the songs and went through sight reading books. Sight reading is being able to read the music, only knowing the tone of one note.”
Not that many people get selected each year, so for these three students it is quite an honor to be able to represent Westfield High. Some of the students were selected to perform in past years, like trombonist Dufraine. Last year Dufraine played in the All State Jazz Ensemble, but this year she will be performing in the All State Band. She’s been playing the trombone for seven years and plans on pursuing a career in music education after she graduates.
“Two All States concert experiences have given me a head start on what I want to do with music for the rest of my life,” she said. “Last year’s All States was honestly the best experience in my life. I can’t wait for this year.”
Like Dufraine, All States has also influenced what trumpet player Hickson wants to do with his future. This is Hickson’s first year at All States and he’ll be performing in the Jazz Ensemble.
“Music is definitely part of my college search, something like being in a jazz band on the side,” he said. “I’ll never stop playing.”
All States is an event that brings musicians, educators, and enthusiasts together to celebrate a great art form.
“We’re just so proud that so many kids try out. It’s a high honor to have kids from Westfield High travel to All States,” Instrumental Music Director Patrick Kennedy said.
In addition to the accomplishments of these three students, Westfield High will also be holding their 61st Annual Pops Concert, “On Wings of Magic”, on March 14 and 15. This is a great opportunity not only to see the All State students perform, but also a chance to support and enjoy the musical talents of Westfield High’s entire band.
Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance. For more information you can contact Kennedy at [email protected]

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