Make some noise for Berkshire music students

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Editor's note: This article has been amended from its original version to include students and teachers from Richmond and Mount Greylock schools. 

Nationwide, March is known as Music in Our Schools Month, a campaign to raise awareness of the importance of music education for all children in all schools.

So, for the next few weeks, The Eagle will highlight a sample of what's happening with local music students and school programs that support them.

In Massachusetts, March is also a time the shine a spotlight on the commonwealth's most talented student musicians and vocalists. On Saturday, more than 550 public and private school students took the stage at Boston's Symphony Hall to perform in the 67th All-State Music Festival of The Massachusetts Music Educators Association.

To get there, Berkshire County music students first had to successfully audition in the fall for either the Junior Festival (grades 7 through 9) or Senior Festival (grades 9 through 12) of the association's Western District. Judges score students for sight-reading and solo performance abilities against other students in the same audition categories. Band students are scored among other students playing the same instruments, and choral students are scored among other students singing the same voice parts. Students who score above the cutoff are invited to perform with either the Junior or Senior district festival. Exceptionally high-scoring students also receive a recommendation to audition in January for the All-State Festival.

More than 1,000 students audition each year, dedicating time in class and outside of school to learn and rehearse their audition music.

From the Berkshires, seven students successfully auditioned for the All-State Festival and were invited to participate in Saturday's performance. Not all students who received All-State recommendations were able to audition for the concert.

Representing the county in the All-State Chorus were soprano Cali Cybulski of Taconic High School, and bass singers Jacob Munch and Logan Weibrecht, both of Lenox Memorial Middle and High School. All-State Jazz Band members included Soren Smedvig of Monument Mountain Regional High School on trumpet who also played a solo. Pittsfield High School students Joseph Cracolici on cello and Chenyang Lin on violin performed with the All-State Orchestra, while Monument's Elsie Dilisio played trumpet, first chair, with the All-State Concert Band.

Tammy Cracolici, a proud music parent and advocate for youth musicians, was in attendance to support her son, Joseph, and called the concert "amazing."

"We were so proud of all the young men and women selected," she said.

Dozens of other students were selected to participate in the Western District Music Festivals.

The Senior Western District Festival Concert for students in grades 9 to 12 was held on Saturday, Jan. 12, at the University of Massachusetts Fine Arts Center in Amherst. The Junior Western District Festival Concert is on March 16, at 3 p.m., and will also take place at the Fine Arts Center.

Below is a list of students who earned Western District Festival honors by school, in alphabetical order.

Berkshire School

Students: Christina Tao (violin), Elizabeth Nutting (violin), Kevin Rhee (cello), Angela Ansah (flute), Maia Tolentino (soprano), Giang Le (alto).

Teachers: Tasia Cheng-Chia Wu and Clive Davis.

Hoosac Valley High

Student:Jackson Keplinger (trumpet).

Hoosac Valley Band Director: Jacob C. Keplinger.

Music Teacher: Jonathan Rowe.

Lee Middle and High

Students: Teresa Navin (Senior District Chorus, All-State recommendation); Annie Maloney (Senior District Band, oboe); Gracie Baczek (Junior District Chorus).

Teachers: Joanne Nelson-Unczur, Patricia Feldman.

Lenox Memorial Middle

and High

Senior District Concert Band: Grace Elliot (clarinet), Cecilia Kittross (trumpet).

Senior District Orchestra: Julianne Harwood (trombone). Senior District

Chorus: Sopranos Fiona Mathews and Julie Monteleone; alto Solia Schmid; basses Maxime L ger, Jacob Munch, Logan Weibrecht.

Junior District Band: Trumpeters April Harwood and Piper Maxymillian. Junior District Orchestra: Violinists Juan Manrique and Etta Schnackenberg.

Junior District Treble Chorus: Hannah Alsdorf, Sophie Cohen, Kaeleigh Heath, Riley Kincaid, Aliza Munch, Bailey Rogers.

Junior District Male Chorus: Benjamin Ames, Alex Del Vecchio, Vincent Dragonetti, Hayden Hoffman, Finn Jolly, Noah Kirby, Lucas Lanfair, Sam Valente.

Miss Hall's School

Orchestra: Cellist Trudy Fadding (Glendale) and violinist Ria Kedia (Pittsfield).

Chorus: sopranos Chelsie Li (China), Andi Loehr (Pittsfield), Scarlett Wang (China), and Riagain Wiley (Bronx, N.Y.).

Miss Hall's Director of Music: Deborah Duff. Teachers: Bing Liu, Rob Sanzone.

Monument Mountain Regional High/Monument Valley Regional Middle

Junior Districts: Concert Band: Jade Nelson (bass clarinet).

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Jazz Band: AJ Koval (tenor sax, first chair), Tyler Sprague (trumpet, first chair). Orchestra: Bei Jia Viggiano (violin), Zoe Holmes (viola), Ben Kleinman (viola), Megan Zeik (cello).

Chorus: sopranos Miranda Ralph, Nicole Shanahan, Nalanie Cebula; altos Soumya Ait Hazem, Samantha Irausquin, Zoe Parsons, Aria Grossman, Anna Sinico, Sophie Tournas-Hardt; tenors Nicholas Gaughran and Camerin Liebenow.

Senior Districts: Orchestra: violinists Olivia Rubino and Abby Zeik; Anna Rubino (viola), Elsie Dilisio (trumpet). Chorus: bass Nicholas Barbieri; altos Abigail Fredsall and Mae Whaley; sopranos Talia Caine and Cecilia Redpath; tenors James Hallock and Cole Seitz. Jazz Band: Jack Bertelli (alto saxophone, first chair), Wilson Sprague (tenor sax, first chair), Sam Schroeder (tenor sax), Soren Smedvig (trumpet), Jake Lyons (trumpet). Music teachers: Julie Bickford, Michael Gillespie, Juraye Moran, Sunhwa Reiner.

Mount Greylock Regional

Junior Districts: Emily Dupuis (flute), Beatrice Pedroni (flute), Euphemia Skinner (viola), Caleb Low (cello), Grace Winters (string bass), Noelle Dravis, (viola). Senior Districts: Hallie Anderson (french horn), Oscar Low (violin), Cameron Bencivenga (trumpet).

Mount Greylock Band Director: Lyndon Moors.

Mount Greylock Orchestra/Choral Director: Ouisa Fohrhaltz

Mount Everett Regional

Senior District Chorus: Elizabeth Enoch, Jake Martin, Jeremiah Tomascak, Micky Masters, and Micah Ketchen.

Junior District Chorus: Lucia Cierchia, Ivy Webster-Ben David, and Caroline Haiss.

Mt. Everett Director of Vocal Music: Chris Clark.

Pittsfield High School

Junior District: Cameron Martin (trumpet).

Teacher: Ashley Paradis.

Senior District: Orchestra: Violin I: Chenyang Lin (All-State), Leila Paredes, Gerdlie Jean-Louis; Violin II: Nathan Cracolici; viola: Johan Serrano and Isabelle Smith; cello: Joseph Cracolici (All-State), Gerdrose Jean-Louis; Teacher: Alla Zernitskaya.

Chorus: Maddy Bronson. Teacher: Gaylan Palmer.

Herberg Middle School

Junior District Concert Band: Jeremiah Johnson (trumpet) and Jack Robarge (trombone).

Teacher: Chris Nelson-Unczur.

Reid Middle School

Junior District Concert Band: Jack Bradway (trombone), Kira Gomes (trombone), Tiffin Martin (tenor sax); Jazz Band: Paxton Miller (baritone saxophone).

Reid Band Director: Rob Tatten.

Orchestra: Katerina Livermore (violin).

Teacher: Richard Downs.

Richmond Consolidated School: Junior District Festival: Chorus: Lola Bennett, Camille Kenney, Arlo Merelle. Concert Band: Elisheva Caine (flute), Madeleine Holmes (clarinet); John Mielke (trombone). Richmond music teacher: Joy Mullen.

Taconic High School

Chorus: sopranos Ariana Maliawco, Olivia Cheltowski, Grace Grady, Cali Cybulski (All-State); altos Kendra Delph, Olivia Brindle, Shannon Dean, Victoria Hunter, Rain Hajjar; tenors Nick Trapani, Avery Hartman-Caesar, Trevor Coleman; basses Sean Colletta, Ben Vengalil, Mitch Strack.

Taconic Choral Music and Theatre Director: Jessica A. Passetto.

Wahconah Regional High

Senior District Chorus: tenors Shayne Haley and Holden Nelson, and bass Casey Wassilie. Junior District Chorus: Philip Bushee (tenor), Janelle Smith (soprano), Keira Tuck (alto).

Teachers: Rebecca Hoffmann, Brian Rabuse.

Nessacus Regional Middle

Junior District Chorus: Eliza Crow (soprano) and Jared Julien (alto).

Teachers: Rebecca Hoffmann.

Junior District Band: Madeleine Rabuse (clarinet) and Sophia Kazimierczak (baritone sax).

Teacher: Andrew Garcia.

Did we miss anyone? Let us know by emailing education reporter Jenn Smith at jsmith@berkshireeagle.com.


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