MIFFLINTOWN — Few could blame Cameron Good or Elizabeth Fultz for feeling a bit nervous playing Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Double Violin Concerto” at the recent district orchestra festival.
After all, the two Juniata High School musicians were performing on a much larger stage. And it’s not every day you have four-time Grammy Award nominee Curtis Stewart astutely watching and listening to your every note.
The last thing Good, Fultz or any of the more than 100 musicians wanted to do was play a wrong note or stand out for all of the wrong reasons.
“It was a great experience for the students to get to work with an artist of that caliber,” said Juniata High School band director Brad Eargle of his students’ trip to the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association District 4/6 Orchestra Festival at Richland High School on Feb. 8-10. Good plays the trombone, while Fultz is a flute player.
“PMEA events always provide exceptional opportunities for our students, but having Curtis work with the kids was really special. We were fortunate that it worked out for him to share some of his thoughts about music and musicianship with the students.”
When they completed the song, Stewart smiled with approval. He applauded and immediately started offering pointers to many of the young musicians.
Stewart’s lesson was part of an educational forum in which he and James Blachly, the Grammy-winning music director of the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, shared some of their knowledge with high school musicians at the district orchestra festival.
PMEA district orchestra members had been practicing together for weeks in preparation for its annual concert on Feb. 10. Coincidentally, Stewart was in town preparing for his concert with the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra.
Good placed second among the trombones at the district festival and will be advancing to Western Regional Orchestra at Butler Intermediate High School from March 21-23. The festival’s concert is scheduled for 2 p.m. on March 23.