States? Nationals? What’s Next?


Photo Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Nationals will be held at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville, Tennessee.

By Logan Garvey, Editor-in-Chief

Recently auditioning for a place at Nationals, junior Kristen Zak climbed her way to the top of all orchestra festivals, proving how much experience she has playing the violin.

Zak has played violin ever since she was little and feels that if she makes it to nationals, the experience will be great, especially because of how rare the occasion is.

“I feel like it’s a great opportunity,” said Zak. “Since this is an opportunity that doesn’t come around often. People who get the chance to try out should be honored.”

Nationals is held by the National Association for Music Education, or NAfME, and the performance for nationals will take place in Tennessee at the Grand Ole Opry House on Wednesday, October 28.

Before the actual performance, students involved with nationals will take part in lengthy rehearsals starting on October 25.

Kristen Zak holding an award she received during her time at the PMEA festivals.
Photo Courtesy: Kristen Zak
Kristen Zak holds an award she received during her time at the PMEA festivals.

In order to make it to nationals, students had to be a part of their state’s 2014-2015 All-State Festival. If they made it this far, they were asked to prepare two minutes of the piece they used for their all-state audition. Applicants will find out if they made it into nationals in July.

Junior Brooke Weber, a close friend of Zak, is very proud of how far she has come.

“I knew her when she was little,  and she would go out on the stage of Shrewsbury Elementary and they would say, ‘Kristen Zak is going to make a beautiful performance,’ and then she came out and played her cute little piece and everybody was like, ‘wow she’s amazing,’ and now she’s going to nationals,” said Weber. “It’s amazing, and she is the most talented, beautiful person ever.”

Kristen Zak at one of the numerous PMEA festivals.
Photo Courtesy: Kristen Zak
Kristen Zak stands at one of the numerous PMEA festivals.

Orchestra director Zachary Levi is also impressed with Zak’s accomplishments.

“I am very excited for her,” said Levi. “I’m very proud of her for the hard work that she has done to get this far, and I think she’s got a great shot to make it [into nationals].”

Weber would agree with this statement and thinks that Zak has a high chance of making it to nationals.

“I think she’s going to be amazing [if she makes it to nationals],” said Weber. “Obviously she is going to get into first violins again because she’s done that at every single place that she’s ever gone.”

Zak hopes to hear if she has made it to nationals when NAfME tells her in July.