Performing Arts Students Win Accolades and Awards

This winter has been a time of recognition for middle and high school instrumental and vocal students. Beginning with the Ottoson Middle School, 39 eighth grade students and 10 seventh grade students were accepted into the Massachusetts Music Educators’ Association (MMEA) Northern District Junior Festival. Each student had auditioned earlier in the year, and their selection enabled them to rehearse and perform in a special concert with students from 58 Massachusetts cities and towns. The final Concert was held at the Galvin Middle School in Wakefield on March 16.

Additionally, 41 Arlington High School students were accepted into the MMEA Northern District Senior Festival. Their rehearsals and final performances took place at Lexington High School in January. A subset of these young people were asked to audition again for possible inclusion in the 70th MMEA All-State Festival, and nine were selected. After rehearsing with instrumentalists and vocalists from across the state, they performed together in Symphony Hall on Saturday, March 23. At the concert, 12th grade bass player Van Teager was presented with the MMEA Dennis Wren award. He was the only player to be so honored. Van played bass in both the All-State Jazz Band and the Senior District Jazz Band.

As reported earlier, the AHS Honors Orchestra has been selected to perform at Carnegie Hall in April along with the vocalists who are attending the Choirs of America Choral Festival. In the meantime, the group has been busy with other performances. On March 8 they were part of a concert in the Menotomy Concert Series at the Arlington Town Hall. Betsy Schramm, Producer of the Series, shared these reflections on their participation: “The orchestra performed very professionally and it was wonderful to experience their musicianship. For a high school ensemble, the quality of their playing and their demeanor throughout the performance were exemplary…”

The Honors Orchestra also had a performance on March 21 at the DCU Center in Worcester during the MMEA All-State Conference. In an anonymous audition process, the AHS group was one of four ensembles/choruses to demonstrate excellence in music education out of over 60 submissions. The musicians performed in front of music educators, guest speakers, students, and professional musicians. 

This is a good opportunity to recognize the talented Arlington Public School Performing Arts Educators who work with these students:  Cori Smith, Nate Smith, Paula Demetrio, and Michael Simon at Ottoson; Sabato D’Agostino and Mara Walker at AHS. Congratulations to all.


AHS Honors Orchestra at MMEA Conference.