By Dedra Cordle
It was the moment high school musicians had been anticipating.
On the website for the Ohio Music Education Association was an announcement stating they were now accepting applications for the upcoming all-state ensembles. Thousands apply, few are selected.
Among those submitting applications to become members of the 2018 All-State Orchestra were Grove City siblings Alexandra and Colyn Traini.
Having been selected the previous two years to be a member of the orchestra, one might think Alexandra’s confidence would be sky-high that she would be selected once more. That would be incorrect.
“It’s highly competitive,” said the 18-year-old home schooled senior who plays the bassoon.
Knowing that there were limited spots available for the instrument she plays, she set out to stand out amongst the hundreds of bassoonists who were also vying for an opportunity to perform with the prestigious orchestra.
Not wanting to be outdone by his elder sibling, Colyn Traini, 15, decided it wouldn’t hurt for him to apply as well.
“I had always heard stories from Alexandra about how fun and enjoyable being a part of the All-State Orchestra was and I wanted to try to have that experience as well as a freshman,” he said.
Colyn, who plays the string bass, believed his chances were slim as freshman are seldom selected to be members of the orchestra.
Wavering confidence notwithstanding, the two musicians busied themselves with perfecting the required recordings and etudes and sent in their applications as the deadline loomed. They kept their fingers crossed.
Months later, Alexandra was informed of her selection to the 2018 All-State Orchestra. She was also given the news that she would be the principal bassoonist.
“That was quite the honor,” she said.
Not too long after, the Traini family was informed that Colyn had also been selected to be a member of the orchestra and had been named the fourth chair out of the 10 bassists. He was one of only three freshmen to participate in the orchestra, which has over 100 members.
Like his sister, Colyn also called it a great honor to be selected.
For their parents, Crystal and Tom, it was a proud moment.
“They work so hard at what they do and to see it rewarded is just unbelievable,” said Crystal, a former music educator who now teaches Colyn and Alexandra at home.
With their selection to the orchestra came hours of practice under the tutelage of renowned directors and educators, and months of additional practice in their living room. That dedication paid off during the weekend of Feb. 8 when Colyn, Alexandra and more than 200 other high school musicians selected to the All-State Ensembles travelled to the Columbus Convention Center to perform in front of packed ballroom.
For Tom, a music theory teacher and the director of the orchestras at Grove City High School, their sound was impeccable. And he says he is not being biased in his assessment just because his children were performing.
“They were nearly at the professional level,” he said, referring to the whole orchestra.
Still, their kids did quite well too.
“We were very proud of them,” said Crystal.
After an outstanding performance at the All-State Orchestra, the Traini children did not rest on their laurels. As members of the Grove City High School Orchestra, they prepared for the OMEA State Contest that was to take place on the weekend of Feb. 16.
During the state contest, the school’s orchestra continued their long-standing reign of excellence by receiving their 10th consecutive superior rating.
Tom called this month a long and stressful one full of orchestra preparations and performances, but added that it was one that brought so much pride both for and to his kids – biological and those he instructs at the school .
“It’s been fantastic to have seen and been a part of all of this,” he said.