For the second consecutive year, Friends’ Central senior Kristen Johnson was selected to perform in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District 11 Orchestra Festival, which took place at Plymouth Whitemarsh High School from January 10-12, 2019, with a special concert performed on Saturday, January 12.
A member of Friends’ Central’s Upper School orchestra, chamber music, and vocal groups, Kristen was one of just 33 violinists selected (out of over 100) to perform in the orchestra. About 600 student musicians went through the rigorous audition process, and 115 were selected. Kristen explained, “On audition day, we were given a random number that determined our audition time. For the audition, we were asked to play a section of the 3-minute (5-page) piece we had to learn, three scales, and a short sight-reading excerpt. It was definitely worth it even though there was considerable preparation involved.”
This year’s PMEA District 11 Festival Orchestra, comprising some of the most talented high school musicians from Montgomery and Bucks Counties, was led by Maestro Allan R. Scott, Music Director of the Helena Symphony Orchestra & Chorale and Music Director of Southeastern Pennsylvania Symphony Orchestra. The pieces performed by these outstanding 115 student musicians included works by Bizet, Albeniz, and Rimsky-Korsakov. “Each year, there is a new conductor and we perform different music, so it’s always unique,” shared Kristen. “The conductor really makes us feel like professionals - it has been an amazing experience.”
PMEA’s mission is to advance the study of music education throughout Pennsylvania, while also encouraging excellence in the study and teaching of music. PMEA supports and promotes quality music education through the sponsorship of workshops, conferences, performances, and festivals around the commonwealth.