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WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

The student news site of Westford Academy

WA Ghostwriter

Freshmen musicians to perform in the MMEA Eastern District Music Festival

Natalie Bearfield
From left to right: Maria Reuther, Lily Wan, Tessa Ririe, and Madhurika Sivakumar pose for a picture.

The Massachusetts Music Education Association (MMEA) will be hosting their annual Junior Eastern District Festival at Lincoln-Sudbury High School on Saturday, March 16. Among students from over 30 districts across the state, freshmen students Madhurika Sivakumar, Maria Reuther, and Lily Wan will be performing in the orchestra ensemble, and freshman Tessa Ririe will be performing in the chorus ensemble. 

The students were selected by the MMEA after they auditioned at Bedford High School. As part of the audition, they had to complete various activities to show their musical proficiency such as play a musical piece, perform different scales, and read sheet music. 

“The hardest part about the audition is that you have to prepare for it so far in advance,” Reuther said. “I think the best thing you can do is practice getting nervous and being able to do well even when you’re anxious and under pressure.”

After being accepted, students are given the sheet music for the pieces they will be performing in preparation for rehearsals, which are held on Friday, March 15, the day before their performance. According to Visual and Performing Arts (VPA) curriculum coordinator Andrea Mejia, students have to practice the music themselves, outside of school. 

The MMEA Eastern District Festival was established in 2008. The festival provides an opportunity for student musicians to practice auditioning and working with new ensembles without contributing to an academic grade. 

“It’s really if the student wishes to do it, and we encourage students […] to get more developed and have a great experience with peers in that setting,” Mejia said. “If that’s not something that is of interest, then we have students who opt not to participate, and that’s completely fine too.”

The freshmen performing in this festival have been practicing music since upper elementary school, when musical programs such as the strings and chorus programs are introduced. For some students, these programs were a way to continue their previous musical experience.

“I started [playing] in first grade, and I started with Indian classical violin,” Sivakumar said. “Then in third grade, I started playing the same stuff we were playing in school.”

Sivakumar, Reuther, Wan, and Ririe all recommend aspiring musicians to audition for various performances or ensembles when given the opportunity to do so. As they prepare themselves for the Eastern District Festival, they agree that practice is the best way to get better.

“There’s never only one chance for auditions and other stuff in general,” Wan said. “You’re always going to have more chances and it’s just good to tryout.”

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Natalie Bearfield
Natalie Bearfield, Staff Writer
Hello! My name is Natalie Bearfield and I am a staff writer for the WA Ghostwriter. This is my first year in journalism and I’m looking forward to writing articles and interviewing people for our school newspaper. Along with writing, I enjoy listening to music, reading, and spending time with my friends and family. 

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