Instrumental music students from across southern and central Arkansas joined together to make music Sept. 23 and 24 in Conway.
Five hundred and eight students in grades 7-12 from all over central and southern Arkansas vied for seats in the prestigious annual South Region Orchestra clinic through a competitive audition on Sept. 17. The top players earned spots in one of two junior high orchestras and one senior high orchestra. They worked with guest conductors for two days prior to their performance. The concert was held at the James H. Clark Auditorium on the Conway High School campus.
Of the 60 senior high string players chosen, 37 were from Conway, including the first chair players in the first violin and cello sections. There were also nine members of the Conway band program who earned seats in the full orchestra, including first chair clarinet, bass clarinet, and trumpet.
At the junior high level, 84 Conway orchestra students, including seven first chair players, joined with students from other districts to make up two ensembles, the upper concert orchestra and the second string-only ensemble. Ten junior high band students from Conway also earned seats in the concert orchestra, three of which made first chair on their instruments.
Students from Conway made up over half of each orchestra, with other students from Searcy, Little Rock, Pine Bluff, El Dorado, Texarkana, Dover, Russellville and other communities.
Guest clinician Douglas Bakenhus, music director and conductor of the Natchitoches-Northwestern Symphony at Northwestern State University, directed the Senior High Full Orchestra. Julie Blackstock, director of orchestras at Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas worked with the junior high Concert Orchestra. Greta Lane, director of orchestras in Fort Smith, served as the guest conductor for the string ensemble.
Conway Junior High School and Middle School students are listed below. The Conway High School students are listed in the caption below the photo.
Violin: Chloe Harder, Harry Lance (RDMS), Bhavya Lenin, Bodie Fulcher, Jessica Lasley, Lia Wilson, Madison Watkins, Bailey Deaton,Kelly Zhao, Jillian Nunley, Catherine Overton, Ruth Johnson, Elena Esquivel (CSMS), Joy Domm, Lauralee Masterton, Ryan Hatch, Garrett Pendergraft, Rachel Shires, Maritza Perez, Isabella Begiri, Kaitlyn Haines, Autumn Emerson, Faith Myers, Jessica Rowe, Isabel Espino, Caitlin Hambuchen, Brianna Weathers, Sarah Grace Gunter, Nathan Hutchins (CMS), Hunter Norris, Lydia Quinn, Melaina Taylor (SMS), Courtney Wallace, Madison Stroth (RDMS), Markie Salzwedel, Chloe Upton (RDMS), Kristen Leonard, Madelyn King, Charity Broyles (CSMS), Ashton Fritzges, Nicholas Gallegly, Nikki Heidelberg, Madeline Meeks and Cymberleigh Tucker.
Viola: Joslyn Bruenger, Lucia Reddit, Hadyn Rehak-Bishop, Nichelle Fletcher, Mitchell Lovelady, Coryn Chaffin, Aiyla East, Hailey Hall, Josh Coffman, Charlotte Miller (CSMS), Ashleigh Darnell, Robert Maruffo (RDMS), Hannah Haase, Katie Baker, David Shoemaker and Cayden Smithers (CSMS).
Cello: Ethan Moss, Francesca Reddit, Ashley Henninger, Cheyenne Bryan, Alia Windsor, Rebecca Boone (SMS), William Bell, Alexia Dillard, Andrew Key, Cole Vangsnes, Laila Johnston, Jacob Claunch, Jake Peterson, Jeffrey Bloomfield and Brayden Shipe.
Bass: Ian Collins, Austin Koeth, Ashanti Neal, Griffin Deitrick, Savannah Queen, Alyssa Mabrey, Claudia Wiltgen (RDMS), Cori Lea and Ian Waldron.
CHS Wind, Brass, and Percussion: Rachel Ireland, Brent Fatherly, Robin McCasland, Preston Moline, Ethan Chase, Jillian Tang, Nicholas McDonald, Jadon Pierce and Jaylon Sargent.
CJHS Wind, Brass, and Percussion: Sarah Mayo, Sharnetta Campbell, India Washington, Journey Jones, Renee Dickerson, Cooper Horton, Isaac Valdez, Blayne Griffin, Carson Richardson and Ethan Talley.