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UNITED: Vocalists, musicians put their talents on display

by RICHARD MAX NAPOTNIK JR., Gazette Student News Reporter on March 14, 2014 10:50 AM

ARMAGH — Music has been in the air at United High School during the past two months. Why was there so much music? On Jan. 24, United hosted County Band and several members of our chorus classes prepared for Regional Chorus, which was held Feb. 12-15.

This year United hosted County Band, which included bands from all of the public high schools in Indiana County — Blairsville, Homer Center, Indiana, Marion Center, Penns Manor, Purchase Line, Saltsburg and United — as well as Seeds of Faith Christian Academy, a private school in the area. Approximately 160 students came to United for this event, and 25 were our own United students. While they were here, the junior and senior high bands were split into two bands and rehearsed in different areas throughout the day.

[PHOTO: Logan Marino, left, and Nathan Brown participated in County Band at United High School on Jan. 24. (Submitted photo/United High School)]

Ben Saylor, band director, said the event “went without a hitch despite the two-hour delay.” He added that county band “is a great opportunity for students to make music and connections with people whom they don’t see in their own school.”

Jacob Sigmund, a senior member of band, said, “It was fun and an interesting experience to meet new people with similar interests.”

Dan Rich, a junior member of band, said, “I had a good time and liked playing with people whom I didn’t know.”

On the chorus end of things, three United students prepared to attend Regional Chorus, which they had qualified for earlier in the year.

McKinsey Capitosti, Ally Rape and Thomas Schillinger attended the event at Girard High School near Erie. Approximately 160 students from more than 50 schools participated.

At the regional competition, Capitosti was given special honors when he was awarded “seventh chair.”

“To be honest, I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t get closer to first, but overall I was excited and happy that I was in the top 10,” Capitosti said.

Schillinger, who also participated in Regional Chorus, said the event was “a worthwhile experience and despite not placing, I had a fun time.”

When asked what she thought the value of this event was, Acey Gongaware, chorus director, said, “It gives students the chance to sing in a larger choir and it also gives students a chance to sing choral music that is more difficult than what you would normally see at a high school level. It gives students a chance to see a different community and meet new people.” 

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