Story written by Kyndal Ganoe, Communications Intern with Bardstown City Schools
Elizabeth Johnson, a sophomore and violinist in the Bardstown High School orchestra, has been selected for the All-State Symphony Orchestra by the Kentucky Music Educators Association (KMEA).
Students from all across the Commonwealth auditioned for the symphony orchestra this past fall. KMEA hosts a rigorous audition process. Students are assigned a specific music selection to learn and perform. Finally, students are required to submit a video performance for their audition. For her audition Elizabeth was assigned two scales and two excerpts.
“Both of my audition assignments had long and difficult violin pieces,” said Elizabeth.
Trying out for All-State Symphony Orchestra is an yearly requirement for all of Mrs. Paola’s students. A couple weeks after submitting an audition applicants receive their results and learn if they have been selected for All-State Symphony Orchestra. Elizabeth did so well she was made the first violin in the All-State Orchestra which means she will play the main violin part in the All- State Orchestra performance.
In February, all of the musicians selected for All-State Symphony Orchestra will perform together in Louisville.
“I’ll be staying at the Galt House for a few days and we’ll have several practice sessions together,” said Elizabeth. “Then there is a performance concert that the public can attend.”
Elizabeth discovered her passion for strings as a second grade student at Bardstown Primary School when the high school orchestra performed for her school. As she watched the performance, Elizabeth knew then she wanted to play violin. The following year as a third grader Elizabeth took her first strings class with Mrs. Paola Land. She hasn’t stopped playing since!
Currently, Elizabeth is enrolled in Mrs. Paola’s high school orchestra class. Through this class she spends an hour during the school day receiving string instruction from Mrs. Paola, but if she ever wants any extra help or practice she goes to see Mrs. Paola during a free period or lunch time. Elizabeth spends a lot of her free time playing and practicing at home including studying other performers on YouTube to perfect her solo pieces.
“I am very proud of Elizabeth’s work ethic,” said Mrs. Paola. “She has been a very hard worker since she started.”
Being a part of a group of people who have the same interest and love for music as she does is Elizabeth’s favorite part of performing.
“It’s just a lot of fun to watch all my hard work and practice turn into something,” said Elizabeth.
Elizabeth is unsure where her future is going to take her but she knows she wants music to be a part of it. “Music is always going to be a part of my life.”
Elizabeth Johnson is the first Bardstown student to be a part of All-State Orchestra in a very long time, and she said “it just makes me more confident in my abilities because I didn’t know I was that good.”