by Mark Eisenhauer
Violinist junior Cindy Xiao was accepted into the National Association for Music Education All-Eastern Honors Orchestra, an ensemble comprised of the top orchestra players in the eastern region of the country. WHS is also represented in the All-Eastern chorus ensembles by seniors Allie Hecht, Mike Kirkland, Matt Lynn and Liz Griesmer.
Musically gifted students from 12 different states apply for a spot in these highly selective ensembles. Each state music educators’ association oversees the selection process in their state and compiles ranked lists of recommended juniors and seniors for consideration. All recommended students must have participated in their home all-state festivals, according to gcnews.com.
According to WHS Orchestra Teacher Mr. Raymond Wojcik, only three players, including Xiao, over his twelve-plus years of teaching at WHS, have been accepted to the All-Eastern Honors Orchestra.
Said Xiao, “What prepared me most was just everyday practice…. It’s like getting an A on a test you’ve studied for for 11 years.”
The chorus program also allows singers to perform advanced choral pieces with renowned conductors like Z. Randall Stroope of Oklahoma State University. “It’s a learning experience like no other,” said Kirkland.
According to several musicians, being in such an advanced ensemble requires tremendous commitment on the part of every member. Said Hecht, “It’s honestly unlike any experience I’ve had…To be in a choir that big takes extreme focus and dedication, which every person there was capable of and more.”
Said WHS Choir Director Mr. John Brzozowski: “These students are exceptionally talented young people and are dedicated [musicians]. I am very proud that they represented our school in such a prestigious group.”