SOA Middle School Orchestra sets all state record

  • Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Middle School Orchestra at the Charleston County School of the Arts (MSO) recently returned from All-State Orchestra Auditions in Columbia for the 2013 Orchestra where preparation and practice paid off.

This year, a record 16 students from the School of the Arts (SOA) MSO achieved All State status for the 2013 Orchestra. Representing 22 percent of the entire All State Junior (sixth-eighth grade) Orchestra, it is the highest number of students to make it into All State in the history of SOA. Likewise, it is the most students to make it from any one orchestra program in the state, including any high school orchestra.

Nanako Shirai, an eighth grade student, earned the top violin score and was designated concertmaster. The assistant concertmaster position went to Lila Berle, also an eighth grader at SOA. Andrew Englehardt, cellist and Zach Kontenakos, bassist earned the second highest score in their sections as well.

Students are individually judged in a number of categories including, intonation, rhythm, tempo and the ability to correctly play their assigned music. Competition is stiff and includes students from across the state in public and private music instruction programs.

A huge congratulations to all the students for their diligence, hard work and another outstanding accomplishment. All State Orchestra will take place at the Koger Center for Performing Arts in Columbia on Feb. 22-24, culminating in a performance at 2 p.m.

Charleston County School of the Arts (SOA) offers students rich and intensive instruction in eight art majors in a unique sixth through 12th grade setting. Students may apply and audition for two areas, and once accepted into a major, spend one-fourth of their day with dynamic teachers in that art area. Art majors include instrumental band, creative writing, dance, piano, string orchestra, theater, visual art and vocal music. SOA’s students excel at the local, state and national level, earning awards, scholarships and the respect of audience members, peers and patrons of the arts.

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