By Ryan Ellefsen
The East Chapel Hill High School Chamber Strings earned 2nd place at the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) National Orchestra Festival held in Atlanta March 17-18. Student ensembles are selected to participate in the annual festival based on an application and supporting materials, including recordings and programs from previous concerts. From hundreds of applicants, ASTA selected a total of 15 ensembles featuring the nation’s top middle school, high school and community youth orchestras.
Judges for this festival were Dr. Winefred Crock from St. Louis, MO, Dr. Eugene Dowdy from Schriener University and Dr. Karin Hendricks from Boston University. The ECHHS Chamber Strings performed a varied program featuring a commission by Yukiko Nishimura as conducted and commissioned by longtime Phillips Middle School Orchestra Director Ann Daaleman as well as the world premiere of the Lake Michigan Suite by composer Roger Zare. The performance received a standing ovation and was praised by all three judges.
Ryan Ellefsen is ECHHS orchestra director.