WEST ORANGE, NJ – West Orange High School senior Austin Bartola had the unique opportunity to perform with the New Jersey All-State Orchestra in Atlantic City, Nov. 9-11.

Bartola, a battery percussionist, performed with the all-state band in February 2016. A number of string and wind musicians and percussionists were selected for the Atlantic City performances, including Bartola.

After several rehearsals, the group traveled to Atlantic City, where they performed “La Forza del Destino Overture” by Verdi and Mahler’s “Symphony No. 1, Movement 4” on Nov. 11 at the Atlantic City Convention Center under the direction of Dr. Gregory Pritchard.

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The orchestra also played a combined piece with the All-State Mixed Choir entitled “Freedom’s Plow,” composed by choir conductor Dr. Rollo Dilworth.

“Playing with the All-State Orchestra was a fantastic new experience,” said Bartola. “The music is incredible and the level of skill among the musicians is outstanding.”

The orchestra also performed on Nov. 20 at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center.

In addition to his participation in the All-State Orchestra, Bartola is involved in many clubs and activities at the high school, including Marching Band, Jazz Band, Percussion Ensemble, President of Junior Statesmen of America, co-editor-in-chief of The Pioneer, a member of the Mountaineer Media Team, President of Rho Kappa Honor Society, Mountaineer Mentor, member of Escriptus Honor Society, Tri-M Music Honor Society and National Honor Society.

Bartola is interested in a political science major, and his top picks for colleges are Yale and Brown.