Orchestra kids audition for All-State

Fifteen West Shore students will be among the thousands auditioning for a seat in Florida’s All-State Orchestra today. Held every year, All-State is a place where the best middle- and high-school musicians come together to meet, learn and grow their playing abilities with one another. It consists of two parts. First, all students accepted will practice various pieces, under expert guidance, and then perform those pieces at the Florida Music Educators Association’s convention in Tampa.

One of the students auditioning is freshman James Leonard. This will be his second time auditioning, and he hopes his second time making the orchestra. He said that trying out for All-State has forced him to practice more.

“[It] helped me see that there are a lot more people out there who are better than [me],” Leonard said.

He said he has a schedule for each day in order to ensure he balances his practicing with school work and leisure time.

James’ brother, junior Andrew Leonard, also will be auditioning. He has been in All-State two previous years, in 10th and eighth grade. He said trying out for All-State has forced him to practice more and work on different pieces that increase his technique and skill. To balance his school work, extracurricular activities and practicing, Andrew said he stays up late and practices on the weekends.

The auditions will be held at Satellite High.

By Clark Evans