WARREN, NJ – Three students at Watchung Hills Regional High School have been selected for the Central Jersey Music Educators Association (CJMEA) regional orchestral string or symphonic bands, and another four have been selected to CJMEA regional choral groups.
In addition, two of the band students who were selected for regional bands from Watchung Hills were also selected to state bands, said Band and Instrumental Music Director David Udell.
The state auditions were held Thursday night, Jan. 29, at East Brunswick High School, Udell said. Auditions for All-State Orchestral Strings and All-State Chorus have yet to be scheduled.
The regional musical groups have already performed in concert, Udell said. A performance of the regional orchestra and symphonic bands was held on Sunday, Jan. 18, at Montgomery Township High School. A performance of the regional choirs was held on Sunday, Feb. 1, Super Bowl Sunday, at Monroe Township High School.
Udell said the following three students were named to orchestra or symphonic band: To the Region II Orchestral String Band, Sophomore Brian Zeng of Warren Township on Viola; and to the Region II Symphonic Band, Freshman Ethan Marmelejos of Watchung on Tuba and Junior Isis Zhang of Stirling on Clarinet.
Choral Music Director Angela DiIorio Bird said the following four students have been named to regional choral groups: To mixed choir, Sophomore Allison Horvath of Warren Township and Sophomore Veronica Mu of Warren Township; and to Women’s Choir, Sophomore Kira Leinwand of Warren Township and Freshman Abby Watkins of Watchung.
Udell and Bird said that selection for the state and regional bands and various choral groups is competitive. Students sit for auditions, and once selected, participate in rehearsals to prepare for the concert performances, and then play or sing in concert along with fellow musicians and singers from across the region before an audience of family, friends and musical educators.
“Competition is intense for the instrumental students with as few as 10 percent being accepted on some instruments,” said Udell. “Students know that they must not only get into their region ensembles, but also must finish high enough in their sections to be invited to audition for all-state. I am proud of all the students who auditioned. I am also pleased that all those who were successful were invited to the all-state auditions.”
"These students who got accepted into regional choirs were selected among several hundred students,” said Bird. “They prepared a very intense audition and have exceeded my expectations. What a hard working group of students! I am very proud of them! This is quite an honor."
Two Selected All-State
Udell said two Watchung Hills students have been named to All-State Band.
“Isis Zhang has won a position in the All-State Symphonic Band on Clarinet and Ethan Marmelejos won a position on Tuba,” said Udell. “In fact, Ethan was the only Tuba player to be appointed to the All-State Symphonic Band.”