Oliver Smith takes seventh at PMEA All-State Chorus

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Smith pictured with friends he describes as “step-bros” in Pittsburgh.

By Claudia Fetzner, photo editor

On the weekend of April 3, junior Oliver Smith competed at the PMEA All-State Chorus Festival in Pittsburgh. Smith was the only Saegertown musician to advance to the state level.

During the four days he was in Pittsburgh, Smith worked under American choral conductor and two-time GRAMMY winner Dr. Jerry Blackstone.

Smith performed a variety of songs including “Hallelujah,” “Come to Me, My Love,” and ”Your Voices Tune.”

Chorus teacher Mrs. Susan James describes Smith as  “an all-around good student and singer who is willing to do and sing anything.” Smith beat 24 students at Districts, 20 at Regionals and 30 at States. “It was all him,” Mrs. James said. “He’s a really hard worker when it comes to music.”

Smith placed seventh out of 30 in the Bass One category, which means he won’t advance to nationals. However, he still considers his time at states a success. “The friends I made and the music I created was a gift. I wouldn’t give that away for anything,” Smith said.  

 

Singers set for region chorus competition

By Morgan Radwick, design editor


After a remarkable performance at District Chorus, four Saegertown students will be moving on to regions taking place this week.

The 2019 PMEA (Pennsylvania Music Educators Association) Region Chorus competitions will be held at Clarion High School from March 21-23.

Participating students from Saegertown this year are as follows; junior Carson Jones (Tenor II), junior Oliver Smith (Bass I), junior Sam Shelenberger (Bass ll), and senior Madison Morgan (Alto l). They will be accompanied by Mrs. Susan James. Each of the four advancing singers are members of Chambers Singers at Saegertown. “Regions is just a more technical version of Districts, It’s time to see who can put the passion and the intricacies into their music,” Jones said.

The students had to place in the top ten out of approximately twenty-five other contestants at District Chorus. Auditions and competitions will be held shortly after arrival on March 21.

The singers will then warm up in a group while a meeting for the directors is held. After a quick warm up, they will gather in their respective sections and be summoned, one at a time, into a room with three judges and a Sergeant of Arms.

The auditioning students are not to talk to the judges (their backs are turned to the student auditioning) so if they have a question, they ask the Sergeant of Arms.  The SA is also there to help students stay calm.

The students then audition with two pieces of music from their folder, which they received before the competition. Participants are expected to sing their part from the music with only a starting pitch. They are judged on correct pitch, rhythm, intonation, breathing, diction, etc. If the singers receive a high-enough score from the judges, they will move on to the State competition in Pittsburgh on April 3.

Rehearsals for the concert will be held Friday, March 22 and the concert will Saturday at Clarion High School at 2 p.m. Results from the Saegertown student auditions will be available on Twitter @PantherPressSHS.

District band a success

By Kaity Gage and Ben Courson, marketing director and broadcast team

Jesse Stewart (tuba), Jade Allen (piccolo), Logan Krasa (tenor saxophone), and Jared Shaffer (percussion) recently represented Saegertown at the PMEA District Band festival at Cameron County High School. On the first night of the festival, the musicians

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Jesses Stewart, Jared Shaffer, Jade Allen, and Logan Krasa participated in the PMEA District Band festival at Cameron County High School.

auditioned for the chance to move on to Region Band, with Stewart, Krasa, and Shaffer advancing.

Jesse Stewart considers the auditions to be the most nerve-wracking part of District Band. “It’s the point where you want to impress your director by doing really well,” Stewart said.

Junior Jade Allen’s favorite part of districts was how close she got to be to the director. Since Jade was playing piccolo she was in the front row, very close to the conductor where she could have little conversations with him. “We made little inside jokes and would talk a little if we weren’t playing,” Allen said.

One part of District Band that is interesting is that Logan Krasa roomed with three other kids from Seneca High School. “It was fun in the hotel rooms,” Krasa said.

For senior Jared Shaffer, this was his last year to attend the festival, but he was happy with his performance. “I didn’t expect to get first place because I got third last year. I wasn’t even nervous. I was shaking last year, but this year I wasn’t.” He added, “My number one goal right now is moving on to states. I think I could move on to states. I am taking lessons from Mr. Corsey, and I am a lot better than I was.”

Region II Band will be held at Marion Center Area High School on March 10-13.

PMEA District II Band Festival: Six advance to regions

By Ally Shenk, Staff Writer

Musicians from forty schools took the stage Jan. 7-10. (Casey Fetzner/SHS)

Musicians from forty schools took the stage Jan. 7-10. (Casey Fetzner/SHS)

Saegertown High School played host to the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) District II Band Festival last week (Jan. 7-10). One hundred-seventy students came from forty high schools across the three-county region to compete for a position in Region II Band, which will be held at Fort LeBoeuf High School in February.

The musicians were supposed to begin practice and participate in auditions on Wednesday night, but, due to weather delays, they didn’t start until Thursday, January 8. The community concert was held Friday at 8 p.m., with a second concert on Saturday at 1 p.m.  The guest conductor Robert W. Smith said, “Preparation was easy, and I got a sense of where the students were at skill wise.” The only difficulty he seemed to face was getting the students to play as a whole. Smith is a nationally known composer who has over 700 works to his name. Saegertown band director Mr. Patrick Baldwin called him a “rock star” among composers of concert band music.

Several students from Saegertown made it to the Region II Festival: seniors Kristina West, Matt Peters, and Makayla Miller; juniors Ben Courson and Jared Shaffer; and sophomore Jesse Stewart (who earned first chair in a field of eight tubas). “We learned how to transpose Mary had a Little Lamb,” said senior Kristina West. At Region Band, students will have the opportunity to compete for a position in All-State Band, which will be held in Hershey, Pa. To see more photos from the event, visit http://www.edline.net/pages/Saegertownjshs.