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Weston students excel in music


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(left to right) Violinist Kendrick Kirby-Lee, Director of Music Christopher Memoli, French horn player Ariel Silverman and Trombone player Andrew Haimovici at the 2016 NafME All-National Honor Ensembles in Grapevine, Texas.

By Grace Wang

Discipline. Determination. Dedication.  Perfectly tuned chords. The open range. The impeccable pitch. The music radiates off the instruments, producing a harmonious and rich sound, full of beautiful notes that bring joy to the audience’s ears.

  Three of the nation’s 672 most talented musicians come from the small town of Weston.    

  Senior Andrew Haimovici, and juniors Kendrick Kirby-Lee and Ariel Silverman proudly represented Weston at the 2016 NAfME All-National Honor Ensembles in Grapevine, Texas on November 13. This is Kirby-Lee’s second trip to Nationals and first-timers for Haimovici and Silverman.

  Haimovici was extremely excited when he found out that he was accepted to the All-National Honor Concert Band.

   “I was actually at the 2016 USRowing Youth National Regatta when I found out, and I think it helped me row harder,” Haimovici said.

  The process of getting into nationals spans over several months.

  “The road to nationals is a long one, but very rewarding in the end,” Silverman said.

  First, students have to make the top half of senior district auditions in November. Then, in January, students who make the top half of Senior Districts audition for All-State. If they get into All-State, students are required to send in a recording to be selected for the national ensemble.

 Kirby-Lee, Silverman and Haimovici all said that they had a positive experience working with the other student musicians.

  “There were a lot of people who came up to me and started talking to me who I didn’t know at all,” Kirby-Lee said.

  Silverman didn’t really know what to expect, but she was surprised by the people at the event.

  “I didn’t expect that everyone there would be so nice, but I was glad to be proven wrong,” Silverman said. “What was most special about nationals was the shared love and respect of music among us.”

  Similarly to Kirby-Lee and Silverman, Haimovici will remember the people from this experience.

  “Meeting such smart and musically accomplished people was fun by itself.  The tone of the band was also very special!”

  Both Haimovici and Silverman think their playing has improved from playing alongside other great players and participating in a gifted ensemble.

 “I am very proud of the students’ accomplishments. This achievement represents many hours in a practice room,” director of music Christopher Memoli said.

 For Memoli, the highlight of the trip was listening to the students rehearse November 11 and 12.

  “The ensembles sounded like professional groups,” Memoli said.

  According to Memoli, there is something special and unique about each student. He said Kendrick is the most humble student he knows.

   “Kendrick made second chair in the All-National Orchestra, which is a remarkable accomplishment,” Memoli said.

  According to Memoli, all three students share a common thread of hard work and discipline, which is why these skilled musicians were selected to participate in National ensembles.

  “Ariel [Silverman’s] hard work, determination and accomplishments are inspiring. She is extremely humble about these accomplishments.”

  As co-president of band, Andrew Haimovici is an outstanding leader and has a warm and outgoing personality, Memoli said.

  “Andrew [Haimovici’s] natural sense of tone and pitch on trombone is what got him into Nationals.”

  For Silverman, this experience will resonate with her forever.

“I will remember most the people I met, the amazing sounds I heard, and that wonderful feeling of being part of something amazing,” Silverman said. “I don’t think this experience is something that I could ever forget it.”

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Weston students excel in music