When describing her thoughts, Bald Eagle Area Middle and High School Band Director Kellie Long said she’s just “so proud” of three students she’s had since they were in sixth-grade who made it to this year’s Pennsylvania Music Educators Association All-State Band and Orchestra Festival held April 18-21 in Lancaster. It’s the first time three student instrumentalists from the district have made it to states in the same year.
They were junior Anton Fatula, alto saxophone; and seniors Jake Michael, tuba; and Alice Statham, harp. Fatula and Michael each were accepted to districts where they auditioned and made it to regionals and then auditioned again and made it to states. Statham auditioned and made it to states, which automatically meant she would attend regionals and districts, Long said.
Before this school year, there have only been at most two BEA students who attended the All-State band fest in the same year. There were, however, three BEA choir students who attended the state chorus festival in the past.
Upon arrival to the fest, students auditioned for their placement. They also rehearsed for an end-of-festival concert.
Fatula got first chair at states and will be auditioning for All-Eastern Band. Long said his score from states will help his chances in making it. Fautla will also be auditioning for All-National Band, as well. Statham also got first chair and Michael got second chair.
“I am just so proud of these three students,” Long said. “They are my students from (grades) sixth through 12th. To see them make states is a huge honor; not many people get that honor -- I'm just so proud.”
Statham will be attending Carnegie Mellon University in the fall to study harp performance. Michael will be attending Penn State in the fall majoring in education and auditioning on the trombone, baritone and sousaphone for the Blue Band. Fatula will be attending a summer camp at Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y. that he received a scholarship for. He plans to major in music education and saxophone performance after high school.