Indiana Area Senior High School

By JORIE MEIL – The halls are alive with the sound of music! IHS music students have attended the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) district orchestra and chorus festivals this winter. Band students also attended the PMEA district band competition this week.

On January 31, a group of orchestra students attended the PMEA District 2, 3, 5 orchestra festival. These students were Victor Wu, Clayton Weaver, Carly Wang, Maddie Faulkner, and Jonathan Lo. After a rigorous audition and gala performance, Lo, Wang, Wu, and Faulkner will move on to the Western Region State Orchestra Festival, which will be held in mid-March at North Allegheny High School in Wexford.

In January, seven vocal music students attended the District 3 choral festival. These students were Amanda Iandiorio, Owen Morris, Kiara Smith, Arianna Goodyear, Abby Walker, Alyssa McLaine, and Silas Schiera. Following auditions, Morris, Smith, and Iandiorio will go on to PMEA Region II Choral Festival in late February in Corry, PA.

“District chorus was such a great learning experience. Seeing people from all different schools come together and make music together is truly special. We got to learn from one another as well as our guest conductors,” expressed senior vocal music student Alyssa McLaine. 

IHS band students attended District band the 13 and 14 of February. These students include Owen Morris, Reese McFarlane, Amelia Kuzneski, Logan Rode, Haley Orr, Silas Schiera, Cormac Pagnucci, and John Makara. At the event, they auditioned to move on to regionals and perform with students from other schools.

“I’m always nervous up until our audition on the first day, but after that, the festival is so much fun. I not only love meeting new kids, but I love playing with them because they’re all so passionate about music,” commented senior band student Amelia Kuzneski. 

All of the PMEA festivals have a similar structure. The first day of the festival starts with auditions (music is learned ahead of time). Based on the students’ performances at their auditions they will be given a chai assignment, with first chair being the top position. Then, as an ensemble, with students from other schools in the area, prepare music for a concert. The festival concludes with the students with a performance of the prepared pieces. The top chairs move on to the regional level of the festival. 

“I think that PMEA festivals are a great time to meet new people and improve my musicianship.  I usually find it easy to make friends and make music all at the same time when I’m at districts and similar festivals, “exclaimed senior vocal and band student Owen Morris. 

Congratulations to all students who participated in districts, and good luck to those advancing to regions.

[Photo courtesy of Dr. Julianne Laird]

Photo caption: “IHS vocal music students (front row) Alyssa McLaine, Amanda Iandorio, (back row) Kiara Smith, Arianna Goodyear, Abigail Walker, Owen Morris, and Silas Schiera attended District Chorus.” 


Jorie Meil

Jorie is a senior co-editor and has been on the High Arrow and is in her fourth year on the staff.  Jorie enjoys being able to inform the public of all goings-on at IHS.