WMS Eighth Grade Orchestra to participate in MMEA Midwinter Clinic

Event is this Friday in Minneapolis.

Zachary Paulsen WMS.jpeg
Zac Paulsen
Submitted photo

WORTHINGTON — In June 2021, I submitted an audition recording of the current WMS 8th grade orchestra to the Minnesota Music Education Association (MMEA), in hopes of being selected to perform at the Midwinter Clinic.

The MMEA Midwinter Clinic is the largest gathering of music teachers in the state and features nationally-recognized headliners, clinicians, and a wide variety of performances.

In early October, we received exciting news that they were selected to perform at MMEA’s Midwinter Clinic. The 8th grade orchestra is 48 members strong and they are honored and excited to perform at 1 p.m. Friday at the Convention Center in Minneapolis.

The application process is quite competitive that, once chosen, is a lifetime opportunity for all musicians to experience. Our WMS 8th Grade Orchestra is one of five orchestras, 13 bands, and one choir to perform during the Feb. 17-19 conference in Minneapolis. Performance groups include middle school, high school and college ensembles.

WMS 8th Grade Orchestra is working on nine pieces for this special spotlight. Students have worked very hard and have learned a tremendous amount in the past few months. It has been difficult to learn this much music with the short amount of rehearsal time we have, but we all are very proud of the work they have put in to make this performance a success. We have had two Saturday rehearsals that were four hours long to help prepare the music.


A special project to honor our 8th Grade Orchestra members for their experience is that individual instrument tags were designed and created by Bedford for them to place on their orchestral instrument. The tags were funded by WAMBO, the O’Donnell family, Great Plains String Quartet, and the Foley Benz family.

We are fortunate at every level for the assistance provided to all of our music groups by talented pianists that help with rehearsals and performances, we thank and appreciate Sylvia Andersen for her hard work and efforts to help with our WMS 8th Grade Orchestra. A special thank you to Melanie Loy and Morgan Rukstales for coming to our rehearsals and helping! We would also like to thank Ray’s Midbell Music for donating the eight pieces of music for this event and appreciate their support for all District 518 musicians! And last, but not least, we thank our supportive WMS staff and administration, along with the parents that continue to be flexible to help make this experience happen.

Bravo, WMS 8th Grade Orchestra and all that have helped to bring about this amazing performance opportunity!

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