<bt>Last month, the Carl Sandburg Middle School’s Symphonic Orchestra took their act on the road. They were invited to the 2004 Virginia Music Educators Association (VMEA) Conference in Norfolk, Virginia after a panel of judges reviewed the previous year's scores from the District Competitions and other rated programs, and reviewed performance tapes. Only two high schools and one middle school from the entire state received invitations from the strings portion of the panel to perform this year; the middle school honor went to Carl Sandburg's Symphonic Orchestra.
Last year, those students achieved superior scores in every category at the District Ten Festival — District Ten is akin to an SOL in music — where groups are rated by a panel of three judges. Their spring trip last year was to the Music in the Parks competition at Busch Gardens. The Symphonic Orchestra took first place in the competition.
“Their performances at the various concerts and programs were absolutely fabulous,” said Jenny Jones, mother of Jennifer Jones.
At the concert, they performed several pieces. Soloist Arianna Geneson, an eighth grader at Sandburg performed “Bring Him Home,” accompanied on the piano by Caitlin Wang Fleisig. Fleisig also performed as a soloist for “Concerto for Four Violins” along with Jennifer Jones, Yoon-Ji Ha and Sean McMahon.
“The students were nothing short of sensational and played to a standing ovation,” Jenny Jones said.
Before the concert, the students had time to have lunch and visit Nauticus, the National Maritime Center in Norfolk. They were also treated to a tour of the battleship Wisconsin, which is moored at the museum’s site.
<1b>— Gale Curcio