Musicians at NCHS chosen for LMEA All-State Orchestra

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NCHS musicians chosen for the All-State Orchestra are, on front row from left are Mackenzie Johnson, viola; Gabrielle Edwards, violin 2; Director Syll-Young Olson; and Ja’Nia Wallace, violin 2. On back row are Collin Henson, bass; Jacoby Timms, bass; Charia Ratliff, bass; Zane Harper, violin 1; Bethany Milner, alternate; Melanie Nation, violin 2; and Austin Dees, bass.

These Natchitoches Central High School students auditioned and were chosen as part of the 2019 LMEA All-State Orchestra. The LMEA conference will be at the Crowne Plaza Executive Hotel in Baton Rouge Nov. 21-25. They will perform a culminating orchestra concert Sunday, Nov. 25.

The students will go through an extensive rehearsal schedule to prepare. Conductor will be Larry Livingston. Across the state, 18 first violins were chosen, one from NCHS; 18 second violins, three from NCHS; 12 violas, one from NCHS; 12 cellos; eight basses, four from Natchitoches Central; and one alternate from Natchitoches Central. The audition consists of the students being asked to play four scales and two excerpts.

Natchitoches Wood

They are recorded and submitted then heard by the judges. The judges then choose the best strings students and upon arrival at the All-State weekend, chair auditions are conducted. The repertoire is very difficult, beyond what is being taught in the classroom and takes many hours of outside study and practice to qualify.

Violinist Zane Harper said, “It is a great honor and privilege to be selected to participate in the All-State Orchestra. The music is often difficult and the practice lasts the entire weekend with breaks only for lunch and dinner, however, I thoroughly enjoy the experience.“