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Reardon performs with Alabama All-State Orchestra

The Alabama All-State Orchestra welcomed a Madison musician into its ranks, Katherine Reardon.

An eighth-grader at Discovery Middle School, Reardon plays string bass. She attended the all-state festival on Feb. 9-12 in Moody Music Hall on the University of Alabama campus.

“Katherine was the only student we had that auditioned for the All-State Orchestra this year,” Discovery director of bands Johnny Nash said. “Making all-state on any level is an accomplishment that stays on your record for the rest of your life. It means that you are among the best in the state.”

In addition, a seat in the state orchestra means “working and performing with other top players who have the same aspirations for excellence that you do,” Nash said.

Students auditioned for all-state by memorizing and playing all major scales, sight reading and preparing two excerpts from the musical program that the orchestra presented as the festival finale.

“Auditions are done on video and submitted to the Alabama Orchestra Association,” Nash said. “The results were released in late November.”

“I think that I did a good job at all-state,” Reardon said. “I was nervous at the chair auditions but, when results came out and I got first chair, I wasn’t worried any more.”

Reardon enjoyed performing with her musical peers. “I cannot wait to try out for next year,” she said. “It was a great experience.”

For the closing concert, the orchestra played “Concerto Grosso, Movements 1, 2 and 4” by Earnest Bloch and “Brook Green Suite” by Gustav Holst. “The pieces were challenging but were very exciting to play,” Reardon said. “The concerto was the most difficult because of the multiple solos and changing meters (time signatures).”

Michael Grayliardo, the festival orchestra conductor, “made a huge impression on me,” Reardon said. “He was a fantastic conductor, and I learned a lot from him. He was fun to work with. I hope I will meet him again.”

Back in Madison, Reardon plays string bass with the Discovery Wind Ensemble. Her parents are Pat and Jeanine Reardon.

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