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Four students earn spots in Honors Orchestra

Photo by Crystal Hayduk. Four CHS orchestra students performed with the Honors Orchestra at the Michigan Youth Arts Festival on May 11 on the campus of Western Michigan University. (Left to right) Junior Tom Kennings, seniors Emmett Henry, Katie Rae Hayduk, and Kyle Patterson.

By Crystal Hayduk

Four Chelsea High School (CHS) students were invited to attend the Michigan Youth Arts Festival (MYAF), held May 9-11 on the campus of Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.

Violinists Katie Rae Hayduk, a senior, and Tom Kennings, a junior, along with senior violists Emmett Henry and Kyle Patterson performed with the 119-member orchestra in Miller Auditorium at the close of the festival. 

“Performing with the MYAF orchestra is the result of a great deal of hard work and determination for students selected,” said Jed Fritzemeier, CHS orchestra director.

He explained that invitations are the result of a two-step process. First, students must receive a superior rating at district festival, held in early February. Second, they take the proficiency exam, which consists of a solo, scales, and sight-reading, at state festival held in mid-March.

Out of 16,000 students statewide who began the adjudication process in February, the 228 top-scoring students were selected to perform with the Honors Band and Honors Orchestra.

“Students in the Honors Orchestra have great musical integrity and skills,” said Fritzemeier. “The orchestra rehearses well and the group performs wonderfully. Students say it is the best orchestra they have ever played in. MYAF is a great yearly goal for our school’s music students, providing a great motivator for our most advanced students.”

Band Director Rick Catherman noted that several members of the Chelsea HS Band were also recognized for their performance at the MSBOA (Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association) State Solo and Ensemble Festival. Three chamber ensembles and one soloist were identified for “Outstanding Performance” and were nominated for consideration to attend MYAF.

Student ensembles included:

Brass Quintet – Charlie Dahlgren, Drew Lewis, Noah Palmer, Parker Stahl, Jaylen Watson

Saxophone Quartet – Nic Brough, Bode Carpenter, Kara Feldkamp, Parker Strach

Percussion Quartet – Chloe Castile, Evan Eidt, Emma Hicken, Haley Roush.

Senior flutist Lisa Kaiser was recognized as an outstanding soloist.

From the website, “Michigan Youth Arts is a statewide alliance that advocates for arts education through access, opportunity and cultivation of artistic excellence for all.”  (

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