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Record Number of PPS Orchestra Students Accepted to Allstate

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Record Number of PPS Orchestra Students Accepted to Allstate
Posted on 12/12/2016
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After a rigorous audition process, eight members of the Deering-Portland-Casco Bay High School Orchestra have been accepted to represent the Portland Public Schools and the city of Portland at this year's Allstate Honors Music Festival in May.

Julianne Eberl, music director and conductor of the high school orchestra and the Lincoln, King and Lyman Moore middle school orchestras, said that 12 students auditioned and eight were accepted, “the largest number of Portland Public Schools’ orchestra students accepted into Allstate in 40 years. It's the most rigorous orchestral audition in the state, and many students begin preparing for it six months in advance.”

The students selected and the instruments they play are: Casco Bay High School students Ella Ferguson and Francesca Houran, who both play violin; Deering High School students Lucas Jasonides, violin; Arlo Farr-Weinfeld, cello; Owen Ganter, cello; and Epi Tauwala, viola; and Portland High School students Peter Gribizis, violin; and Iris Walter, cello.

Eberl added, “I'm particularly proud of our students for the representation of Portland they are bringing to the state level. The string section of the Honors Orchestra will be somewhere around 60 strings, with students competing from around the state. For our students to make up approximately 12 percent of the string complement is a great achievement of theirs that they worked so hard for and truly earned!”

Eberl also said, “A debt of thanks goes to new Portland Symphony Orchestra Assistant Conductor Andrew Crust, who presented a workshop and coached the Allstate students in preparation for their audition. He was able to raise their understanding of the high level of musicality and effort involved, and inspired them all so much.”

The Allstate Honors Festival will be held at the University of Southern Maine’s Gorham campus May 18 – 20.

Photos shown are of Portland Public Schools’ students practicing at the Allstate Honors Festival audition site, Biddeford High School on Nov. 19.

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