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Three Blue Ridge Chorus students, under the direction of Mr. Nino Bennici, have been selected for the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association State Chorus Festival. They are Alisha Austin, Bethany Page, and Joseph Bednarchik. The State Festival will be held on April 20–23 in Hershey, PA. To reach the State Festival, these students first had to audition at the District and Regional levels.
At the District 9 Chorus Festival, held January 26–29 at Riverside High School in Scranton, Blue Ridge High School had 17 students participate. They were chosen from pre-auditions which were held in October. Blue Ridge singers chosen to participate in the District Festival were as follows: Alisha Austin, Bethany Page, Malinda VanGorden, Laura Van Cott, Jessica Williams, James Banko, Joe Bednarchik, Tim Carey, Brandon Collins, Steve Delfino, Bill Liepinis, Spencer Luce, Logan Nalbone, Josh Osterhout, Bryon Rood, Steve Spencer, and Tim Stonier. The District 9 Chorus Festival is made up of students from schools in Wyoming, Susquehanna, Luzerne, Lackawanna, and Wayne Counties. Blue Ridge High School Chorus was first (the school with the most students accepted) out of the 38 schools with students participating at the District level.
These students auditioned again while at the District Festival to qualify for the next step, the Regional IV Chorus Festival which was hosted by the Danville Area School District from March 16–19. The following Blue Ridge students qualified for the Regional Festival : Alisha Austin, Bethany Page, Laura Van Cott, Malinda VanGorden, Joe Bednarchik, Tim Carey, Brandon Collins, Steve Delfino, Bill Liepinis, Logan Nalbone, Steve Spencer, and Tim Stonier. Bryon Rood was a first alternate. The Regional IV Chorus Festival is made up of students from the counties listed above, as well as Bradford, Tioga, Lycoming, Sullivan, Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Union, and Snyder Counties. Blue Ridge was again the top school among the 80 possible schools participating in the Regional Festival.
These Blue Ridge singers auditioned yet again while at the Regional Festival to see which ones would place in the top 4 out of 20 on each voice part to qualify for the State Festival. Out of the students who went to Regionals, three are going to States: Alisha Austin, Bethany Page, and Joe Bednarchik. Three placed as first alternates: Laura Van Cott, Brandon Collins, and Tim Carey, and two placed as second alternates: Steve Delfino and Tim Stonier. With three students going to the State Festival and five alternates, this places the Blue Ridge Chorus as first out of the 80 original schools that started at pre-auditions in October.
The Blue Ridge Chorus deserves to be congratulated for having this many students placing so well in these competitions. It is a result of many hours of practice by the students, with the help and encouragement of their director, Mr. Bennici. The chorus would also like to thank the administration and school board at Blue Ridge, as well as the parents, very much for their support.
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