Aquinas Academy musician forms ensemble for all states

Helayna Baer, ​​a student at Aquinas Academy of Pittsburgh in Hampton, achieved the highest level a high school musician could achieve when she earned a spot in the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association’s All-State Festival ensemble.

Each year, thousands of high school musicians across the state audition in their respective geographies. Individually, the students perform in front of a jury.

The highest-ranking student musicians advance to compete against students from other PMEA regions. The highest ranked musicians at the PMEA regional level qualify to perform in one of the six Pennsylvania All-State musical ensembles.

“We congratulate the student musicians who are part of the 2022 PMEA All-State Festival,” said Phil Stattel, PMEA president and retired music teacher. “We know that the past two years have been

difficult for all students, and for these students to meet the challenges in the

the highest level should be celebrated.

Helayna’s selection to play cello in the PMEA All-State Orchestra is the result of many years of study, practice, and an audition process that encompasses several months of preparation. She is a senior at Aquinas Academy, where she participates in the school’s Studio Ensemble, under the direction of Sherry Traugh.

Traugh praised her “not only for her wonderful cello, but for her enthusiasm in sharing her love of music with her peers and seeking out musical pursuits in our community.”

Helayna performs regularly with the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra, the Coloratura Quartet with YC2 (Youth Chamber Connection), and Mount Saint Peter’s Catholic Church Music Ministry. She is also in demand as a freelance musician on demand.

Daughter of Richard and Denise Baer of Cheswick, Helayna studies privately with Nicole Myers, Pittsburgh Cello Studio, and is a member of Cello Fury.

Helayna will perform April 8 and 9 at the annual PMEA All-State Festival at the Kalahari Resort in the Poconos. Nationally recognized bandleaders present at the convention lead the bands, which rehearse for two days and conclude with a performance.

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