Musicians advance to PMEA Districts, Regionals

Many of the music students at Cedar Cliff High School have displayed dedication, hard work, and passion. As a reward four students have been invited to join the “best of the best.” While these four were invited to perform at the Pennsylvania Music Educators Administration level, so has the West Shore Chamber Percussion Group.

 Four students, Anton Saliaris, Kierra Heinly, Breyelle Charles, and Skylar Skarupa, have auditioned and were accepted to perform at PMEA District 7 Orchestra. They were also invited to re-audition and become a part of regional orchestra. All students were successful.

Senior Anton Saliaris said, “I’m thrilled to be a part of Regional Orchestra because I get to play some sweet beats with my homies.” Saliaris is a percussionist who has been a part of district orchestra for two years. He plans on pursuing a career of music after high school and being invited to play with the best will surely help.

Junior Kierra Heinly was another musician to be invited to PMEA regionals after advancing to first chair at the January District Festival. Heinly previously earned fifth chair at the December preliminary district auditions, where she competed against approximately 150 violinists.

She went on to earn first chair out of 20 other first chair contestants and was named concertmistress of District Orchestra. In that position she tunes the orchestra before they play at rehearsals and concerts.

Heinly said she was “kind of shocked” when she learned how well she did. Being named concertmistress/master is quite an honor to those who are part of orchestra. “I’ve grown up trying to emulate the top players in PMEA. I really want to do justice to the role and not disappoint the orchestra.” 

Sophomore Breyelle Charles was the next to be accepted to regional orchestra. She said she is very excited to be performing with the rest of the regional group. “Since playing the violin is going to be my future studies in college,” said Charles, “this is a great opportunity to learn from the people I will be performing with, as well as the conductor.” She is most excited for the experience.

Sophomore Skylar Skarupa is another person to be invited. Skarupa is a “big ball of talent” as some students like to put it. She has been a violinist for most of her life, but that is not all she does. Skarupa sings in the women's chorale at Cedar Cliff and was first violin in 8th grade orchestra. She said, “Though music is my passion, I want to go to medical school.” She plans on double majoring in music and medical studies.

While these four students have been invited to play for a big deal orchestra, six others, including one from Regional Orchestra, have been invited to perform at PMEA 2019 Annual Conference. Anton Saliaris, Gabe Saliaris, Zoe Koutsokostas, James Baker, Corey Grundon, and Krissy Badalucco are some of the members of the Cedar Cliff Percussion Ensemble. They have been invited to join Chamber Percussion, which is a group of a select few from Cedar Cliff and Red Land Percussion Ensembles.

Sophomore Corey Grundon said, “This is a great opportunity for the Percussion Ensemble to advance their skills and have fun while doing it.” He explained how even though it will be hard, he hopes they have a great time at PMEA.

The Cedar Cliff music department has helped students develop talents, jumpstart their music career and now, begin their journey to the top of the music community. These nine students will be performing with the best and continue their rise in musical fame.

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