District orchestra moving, exuberant

Guest conductor Dr. Nathaniel F. Parker of Marywood University directs the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 9 Orchestra Festival Friday at Marywood. High school students from 25 school districts participated. STAFF PHOTO/PAT FARNELLI


Musicians from 25 regional high schools who braved auditions and several days of intense rehearsal felt it all coalesce in a swell of magnificent sound on Friday evening.

The students participating in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 9 Orchestra Festival played an arrangement of songs from Les Miserables, the “Unfinished Symphony” (Symphony No. 8 in B Minor) by Franz Schubert,  and “Pines of Rome” by Ottorino Respighi.

An arrangement of “River Songs” including “Deep River” and “Shall We Gather at the River” were also included in the concert.

After a standing ovation, the orchestra returned for a rollicking performance of the Radetsky March by Johann Strauss as an encore.

The festival was hosted by Suzanne Bennici of Montrose Area High School, and her husband, Nino Bennici, who is president of PMEA DIstrict 9.

The conductor, Dr. Nathaniel F. Parker, is the musical director and conductor of the Marywood Orchestra, and has conducted orchestras all over the United States and in Russia, Poland and the Czech Republic.

From Susquehanna County:

Blue Ridge: Tyler Marvin, percussion.

Elk Lake: Christian Sprout, violin.

Montrose Area: Samantha Bennici, horn; Mollie Host, clarinet.

Mountain View: Keegan Ficarro, bassoon.