Moanalua high school symphony orchestra takes national top honors
The Moanalua High
School Symphony Orchestra took top honors Friday at a prestigious, national music festival in Atlanta.
In addition to winning the title of Grand Champion High School Division at the annual American String Teachers Association’s National Orchestra Festival, the Moanalua group, led by music director Elden Seta, took first place for the High School Full Orchestra category.
“It was an incredible experience,” said Seta. “The kids gave it everything they had. They went for it, and I think they gave the best performance you could have asked from them. We didn’t pursue winning. We just pursued playing music. That’s what’s so important about music. It emphasizes the humanistic side. Instead of teaching the outside in, it teaches you the inside out.”
The annual festival selects youth, middle and high school orchestras to participate based on their application. Moanalua High School was one of 20 orchestras invited to participate, in addition to ones from Tampa, Fla.; Palo Alto, Calif.; and New Hyde Park, N.Y.
Students have the opportunity to participate in clinics and receive feedback from prominent musicians who work as conductors and university professors.
As one of the Grand Champions, the 97-member Moanalua group played at the festival on Saturday.
Moanalua High School Symphony Orchestra earned two honors in a national music festival Friday in Atlanta. Emiley Hadano, left, and Annika Wong held up a trophy for the school.