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Musical talent crescendos as students join renowned groups

Two VPS middle-schoolers have earned spots in the Washington Music Educators Association’s annually appointed Junior All-State groups. Nearly 1,800 fifth- through eighth-graders from across the state auditioned for a chance to rehearse under the direction of outstanding music educators and perform in Yakima in February 2016.

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From left: Quintin Gaither, Brent Hall, Dave Chartrey, Chloe Richter, Symphony Koss, Lillian Colven, Piper Wisneski, Sarah O’Mara and Halie Borror.

Among the more than 570 young musicians who have been selected to participate in WMEA’s Junior All-State bands, choirs and orchestras are Brent Hall, a violinist from Thomas Jefferson Middle School, and Piper Wisneski, a viola player from Vancouver School of Arts and Academics. Both will join the association’s Junior All-State orchestra. Their teacher is Ann Medellin.

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Back row, from left: Lillian Colven and Gage O’Callaghan. Middle row: Alaina Bossert and Jamie Norris. Front row: Luke Brockman, Logan Whittington, Piper Wisneski, Margaret Green and Ann Medellin.

Older students also were named to WMEA’s All-State high school bands, orchestras and choirs. More than 2,500 students tried out for the opportunity; 1,030 have been designated to perform in Yakima in February. Among the All-State high school musicians are the following from Vancouver:

All-State Chamber Orchestra

  • Halie Borror, violin, Skyview High School, teacher Sarah O’Mara
  • Symphony Koss, violin, Columbia River High School, teacher Dave Chartrey

All-State Concert Band

  • Jamie Norris, string bass, VSAA, teacher Ann Medellin

All-State Jazz Band

  • Logan Whittington, jazz trumpet, VSAA, teacher Luke Brockman

All-State Symphony Orchestra

  • Alaina Bossert, cello, VSAA, teacher Ann Medellin
  • Gage O’Callaghan, cello, VSAA, teacher Ann Medellin
  • Chloe Richter, violin, Skyview High School, teacher Sarah O’Mara
  • Josh Wann, tuba, Columbia River High School, teacher Dave Chartrey

All-State Treble Choir

  • Lillian Colven, soprano, VSAA, teacher Margaret Green

Many professional musicians have performed with past All-State groups. Famous Washingtonians who have participated include Pulitzer Prize–winning editorial cartoonist and columnist David Horsey, 2007 National Teacher of the Year Andrea Peterson and jazz saxophonist Kenny G.

In addition, Symphony Koss has been named a Division Finalist in the Music Teachers’ National Association’s Junior String Competition. Koss earned this opportunity after winning the MTNA Oregon Junior String Competition. She will compete for the national title in Missoula, Montana, in January.

Also, Hudson’s Bay High School student Quintin Gaither was accepted to the American Choral Directors’ Association’s All-NW Men’s Honor Choir. He will perform in Seattle in March. His teacher is Kareah Nicoson.