HomeMarlton NewsStudents named to All-State Band

Students named to All-State Band

Four students from Cherokee High School have been named to the All-State Band.

The New Jersey Music Educator Association sponsors the band, which holds auditions each January.

According to the website, eligibility is based on students’ high school region band audition results, and only those students will be permitted to audition for All-State Band. Each region will present eligible students with their All-State Band application and information after their respective region band audition. All-State Band audition requirements are the same as each region high school band audition. All-State Orchestra winds, brass and percussion selection is based on All-State band audition results.

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“It puts you in an elite category in the state,” said Cherokee band director Michael Lynch. Each of the students audition to win a chair within the section.

Students then travel to Rutgers the weekend of Feb. 1 to rehearse for the big performance held Feb. 21–23.

“It’s a celebration of the literature of the music they’re playing. It’s a celebration of their talent,” said Lynch.

The music played by members of the All-State Band will be at the professional level, according to Lynch.

“It’s unbelievable to have the opportunity to play among students with such incredible talent. Just listening to them play their instruments is a treat, so playing alongside them is so exciting,” said Leanne Friedman, who was second chair for the flute. She will be sitting 10th chair for All-State.

Friedman has been playing the flute since the fourth grade with eight years of experience playing the instrument.

She couldn’t be more excited for the opportunity.

“Participation in All-State has been a goal of mine for years, so I definitely feel a sense of accomplishment,” she said. “That being said, I know I have to continue pushing forward to new musical goals in order to continue progressing.”

The state band is broken up into two categories: symphonic and wind.

The members of the wind category are considered to be at the top level, said Lynch.

“It’s a big deal to have one girl in the wind section,” he said. “The other three should be proud at symphonic.”

In addition to Friedman, band mate Anna Slimm, a mallet percussionist, received second chair in the wind ensemble. Marc Nation and Rebecca Andrews will be returning to the state band for a second consecutive year.

Part of the All-State Band experience is the ability to play with a new conductor. Past conductors have come from the U.S. Marine Band, college professors and band directors from major universities.

“It’s a big deal to be under the baton of someone at such a high level,” said Lynch.

Friedman is equally excited for the opportunity to play for someone new.

“I’m most excited about learning new takes on music from other students and our conductor,” she said.

One of Lynch’s former students, professional flutist Katie Ambacher, made it as far as the Eastern Band, the highest
level a musician can reach past states.

The musicians are broken up into East and West, since there is no nationwide band to accommodate the musicians.
Currently, Lynch’s former student is coaching Friedman privately.

“It’s encouraging to know what their private teachers are showing them and what our school ensemble is teaching them,” said Lynch.

“She constantly gives me every type of musical insight imaginable to help improve my playing. I’ve learned so much from her about the music business, colleges and life as a musician,” Friedman said of her private instructor. “In performance, I am constantly trying to apply what she’s taught me.”

Lynch is happy with his students and their recent accomplishments.

“I’m just really proud of them and the good name they’ve given to Cherokee,” he said.

To learn more about NJMEA and the upcoming performance, visit www.njmea.org.

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