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L-S Instrumentalists Advance in State Competition

2020 2021 District Band Orchestra

PMEA District 7 Band and Orchestra qualifiers (from left) Jack Harnish, Laura Leaman, and Nick Smucker

Three L-S instrumentalists received audition scores high enough to advance to this year’s PMEA District 7 Band and Orchestra. Lancaster-Lebanon County Band and Orchestra festivals did not occur this year due to COVID-19, so students competed directly against their peers from Adams, Cumberland, Dauphin, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, and York Counties for their spots. Junior Jack Harnish, a bassist, and sophomore Laura Leaman, a cellist, earned spots in the District Orchestra. Senior Nick Smucker, a percussionist, earned entrance to the District Band and District Orchestra.

“All the L-S musicians who auditioned for Districts this year displayed their love of performing and their pursuit of excellence,” said orchestra director Robert Shaubach. “They have shown a willingness to continue making music amid all the challenges of this year. I’m proud of them for being so resilient and self-motivated.”

PMEA altered the audition process this year to allow students to participate during the pandemic safely.

“I’m very proud of Nick and all who auditioned this year,” said band director Larry Royer. “Knowing that there would be no festival, they prepared because they love music and want to better themselves by taking part in the process.”

In preparation for the audition, the students studied a professional level solo and scales and rudiments for their instrument. In early December, they learned which excerpts would be required for the auditions and created videos of their performance for submission a few days before the virtual audition.

Judges scored videos on Saturday, December 12, and published results later that day. The District 7 Festival will combine chorus, orchestra, and band and will be held virtually at a date to be determined. All interested choral, orchestra, and band students can sit in for the festival.

Because there will be no regional festival this year, all selected instrumentalists are eligible to audition for the PMEA All-State Festival on April 14-17, 2021. The All-State Ensembles will rehearse live via Zoom and present a virtual performance.

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