WHS students prepare for the annual music festivals


Jonathan Eldridge

WHS students participating in the MMEA Eastern District Senior Festival

Nevaeh Yancey, Staff Writer

   With a vast music program at WHS, students participate in not only the regular concerts, but also audition for music festivals, such as the MMEA Eastern District Senior festival (senior districts). This is a district level music competition that resulted in a performance for selected students on January 7, 2023. 

   Numerous students auditioned for senior districts, and WHS had successful results, as 47 students got it.

   “Senior district [auditions] happened half a month ago. Weston had over twenty All-State recs this year, which was a record,” said Siyang Ding, sophomore euphonium player. .

    Christopher Memoli, director of music education, then worked with those recommended to decide about next steps.

    “Once they get a state recommendation, I’ll [ask] if they want to audition. Then there’s an audition list, sight reading and more [used to prepare for All-States]” said Memoli. 

   For students who make it through the senior district auditions with a high score and All-State recommendation, they can then audition for All-States, and its tryouts will be held on January 21, 2023. 

   “All-State recommendations are given to the top performers that qualified at the district level,  also called senior districts [that are mainly] 10-12 grade, but 9th graders can also audition [if they’re good],” said Ding.. 

   The All-State music festival will be held at the Westford Regency Inn and Conference Center in Westford, MA culminating in a concert at Symphony Hall on March 4, 2023. 

   In order to be the most prepared, students have been practicing with support of other students and faculty.

   “Everyone has a set piece to work on. So in that regard, you can work on it with friends and we had mock auditions also,” said Ella Kim, senior and violinist.

   Students like Curtis Keene, freshman and vocal tenor, worked with his chorus teacher to help prepare.

   “Mr. Eldrige held a practice the week before [senior districts auditions] every day before school where there was a lot of site reading. We had a lot of time to prepare by singing and listening to practice recordings,” said Keene.  

   This opportunity is a really huge experience that WHS students are privileged to participate in.

   “It’s a huge honor. It’s one of the big [competitions],” said Memoli.