Florida students selected for OCMEA All-County Festival

  • (L-R) Riley Maesano and Linda Higgins (Elementary Chorus) and Tyler Fleury and Caroline Maher (Junior High Chorus)
    (L-R) Riley Maesano and Linda Higgins (Elementary All-County Chorus) Tyler Fleury and Caroline Maher (Junior High All-County Chorus)

Eight students from the Florida Union Free School District were selected for the Orange County Music Educators’ Association (OCMEA) All-County Festival.  

“All-County is important because it gives advanced students an opportunity to learn more challenging material with students from other Orange County districts,” shared S.S. Seward music teacher Mark Visconti. 

Elementary Chorus & Band

Riley Maesano, Linda Higgins, Isabella Karpen and Brenden Hannigan will be performing in the elementary chorus, and Lukas Romanowski in the elementary band, on April 27 at the Newburgh Free Academy.

For Higgins, Karpen and Hannigan, this will be their first time performing in All-County chorus.

Higgins shared that she was very happy to be selected and is excited to interact with students from other districts.

Despite some feelings of nervousness, Hannigan looks forward to the event, saying, “I’m excited to hear everyone’s singing voices,” adding, “Singing inspires me.” 

I didn’t think I would be chosen since there were so many other talented students that tried out as well,” Karpen shared. She is excited to perform on stage with a large audience.

Golden Hill music teacher Kristin Risedorph shared the importance of auditions. “It lets them realize that getting nervous and anticipating something is natural and it’s OK to feel that way. It’s just learning to navigate those feelings that’s important.”

Maesano shared that after being selected, it takes a lot of practice to master the songs before the big day. Singing alto, he looks forward to his second time performing at All-County. “I like to share the joy of singing with other people,” he said.

Romanowski also noted the importance of preparation; “I practice for All-County every other day.” With four songs for All-County and three for school, it is a challenge, but one he welcomes. “I’m looking forward to the concert. I think it will be really fun, and I can make new friends while I’m there.”

“I hope Lukas gets to see that instrumental music is a lifelong activity and that he wants to continue to play past his public education,” shared band teacher William Couture.

Junior High Chorus

Two students will be performing in the junior high chorus: Tyler Fleury and Caroline Maher.

The musicians shared what it took to be selected for the opportunity.

I practiced at home a lot before my audition, especially the high notes, because I had to sing higher than my usual range,” shared Maher. Fleury agreed, sharing that his voice part for the festival, baritone, is lower than he is used to.

Both students look forward to their second All-County appearance May 4 at Monroe-Woodbury High School.

“What I’m looking forward to most about All-County is getting to be with people that share the love for music as much as us,” said Fleury. Maher added, “Last year we had a really good conductor and I’m excited to see who the conductor is this year.” 

High School Chorus

Shea Fleury was selected to the high school chorus, and performed in January at Monroe-Woodbury High School. She is the first student to be selected for this honor in over 10 years. 

After three years of performing in All-County, Fleury shared, “This was my favorite year. I loved meeting new people and the way our voices blended together was amazing.” She added, “I’m still friends with people I met this year.” 

Fleury offers advice for students preparing for their first festival: “Don’t be insecure about your voice, and actually sing; you were selected for a reason!”