District Orchestra Audition Prep Workshop

District Orchestra Prep Workshop - Oct. 29th (12:00 - 4:00 pm)

This session is designed for high school students planning to audition for District Orchestra. It will cover scales, sight reading, and personalized attention from our string staff on solo instrument work and audition pieces. Lunch is included.



Dr. Vera Volchansky - Violin Dr. Vera Volchansky - Violin

Vera Volchansky, described by colleagues as a conductor of "impeccable taste," whose "artistic ability transforms a performance into a meaningful event," serves as Music Director of Lancaster County Youth Orchestra and Orchestra Director with the Millersville University Orchestra. Dr. Volchansky has worked with orchestras and various instrumental and choral ensembles in Russia, Eastern Europe and the United States. Most recently she appeared as a guest conductor in Kazakhstan with the Karaganda Symphony Orchestra and with the Wednesday's Club Youth Orchestra in Harrisburg, and her appearances have also included the Parnu City Orchestra in Estonia, Congress Symphony orchestra of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Society, Hot Springs Festival Orchestra, KU Symphony Orchestra and Constanta Opera in Romania.

Dr. Volchansky is a 2011 American Prize finalist in Conducting, and holds a master's degree in Conducting from the Eastman School. In 2007 she was named a Conducting Fellow with the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen, working with David Zinman. A winner of the Fulbright Award, in 2008 she traveled to St. Petersburg to explore music of the lesser-known twentieth century Russian composers as well as the style of conducting of the St. Petersburg school as developed by Ilya Musin. While there, she studied conducting with Maestro Peter Gribanov, a Grand Prix winner of the All-Russia Conductors' Competition, and also pursued her interest studying the psychology of conducting based on theories of a scientist and conductor Gyorgy Erzhemsky. 

Her past performances include collaborations with Jennifer Frautschi, Zuill Bailey, Awadagin Pratt, and with a Grammy Winner organist Paul Jacobs in a concert featuring the newly-installed Reuter Organ at the Winter Visual and Performing Arts Center in Millersville, PA. In her position as Orchestra Director of the Millersville University Orchestra she has collaborated with cellist Zuill Bailey, violinist Igor Yuzefovich, pianists Awadagin Pratt and Ioannis Potamousis, clarinetist Robert Spring and soprano Eleni Calenos. Maintaining an active schedule as a violinist, Dr. Volchansky performed in a chamber recital with cellist Emilio Colon and had performed Bach's Double Concerto with her father, with whom she began studying violin at the age of six in Volgograd, Russia. Dr. Volchansky resides in Lancaster, PA, and is a citizen of the United States.

Dr. Madeleine Darmiento - Viola Dr. Madeleine Darmiento - Viola

Madeleine Darmiento joined the faculty in 1994 as Artist/Teacher of Violin & Viola. A magna cum laude graduate of Yale University, she initially pursued graduate degrees in viola performance from the New England Conservatory (M.M.) and State University of New York at Stony Brook (D.M.A.), where she studied with many distinguished artists - Heidi Castleman, John Graham, Scott Nickrenz, Jesse Levine, Eric Rosenblith and Kadzuhide Isomura of the Tokyo Quartet. A versatile performer with a wide repertoire, she later earned an additional graduate diploma in violin performance from the University of South Carolina during a sabbatical in 2004.

As a solo and chamber music recitalist, Dr. Darmiento has concertized in twenty three states as well as abroad. A passionate advocate for chamber music, her performance collaborations have included award winning ensembles from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Arts Council, South Carolina Arts Council, and the Geraldine Dodge Foundation. As an orchestral player, she has performed with numerous regional symphonies - the Reading, Omaha, Lincoln (NE), Charleston (SC), Savannah Symphonies (GA) as well as internationally, joining the Orquesta Sinfónica de la Minería (Mexico City) for a season cycle of Brahms' complete orchestral works which was televised throughout Mexico. In addition as featured soloist on both violin and viola, she has performed concertos with the Lincoln Symphony, Bemidji Symphony and with the Millersville University Community Orchestra.

Recent international activity includes a distinguished 2009-10 Fulbright Award to Greece for her project entitled "Enhancing String Education: Advocacy for Viola Performance". As Visiting Artist in Residence at the University of Macedonia in Thessaloniki, Dr. Darmiento gave master classes and concertized throughout northern Greece promoting solo viola repertoire, plus co-organized a viola festival with players from the Thessaloniki State Symphony, State Conservatory, University of Macedonia, and New Hellenic String Quartet.

Dr. Darmiento is in frequent demand as both an adjudicator and clinician. Her most recent lecture/recital presentations include "Fostering the Collaborative Spirit: The WE not the ME of Music Making" for Pennsylvania Music Educators Association 2012 State Convention, and "Fostering Performer, Composer and Audience Interaction" for the College Music Society 2011 Northeast Regional Conference. She has served on the Executive Board of the Pennsylvania Delaware String Teacher's Association. Previous academic appointments include the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Bemidji State University (MN).

Prof. Melissa Brun - cello Prof. Melissa Brun - cello

Melissa Brun, cello, grew up in West Chester, Pa, and received her degrees from the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College, SUNY.  In 2007, Melissa won the Bach-Handel competition hosted by Shenandoah University, and went on to receive the Presser Undergraduate Scholar Award from Purchase College in 2009.  In 2011, Melissa began working at the American Music Theater where she worked closely with singers in the musical theater field, a genre which she quickly came to love.  Since then, Melissa has had the opportunity to play with various Broadway tours and stars, including soloing with Kristen Chenoweth and Jonathan Groff.  She has also been a featured artist on the Christmas album, Silver Belles, and is a founding member of the chamber-folk sextet, The Sound Accord, who released their debut EP in March of 2016.  Melissa has toured internationally as a soloist with the Mary Green Singers, and is known locally as a soprano, having sung professionally at St. James Episcopal church since 2014.  As an educator, Melissa also teaches at The Music Centre in Chester Springs and hosts her own private studio in Devon, PA. Additionally, she is a teaching artist at the West Chester Studio for the Performing Arts, specializing in preschool and elementary theater. 

Prof. Mike Vitale - bass Prof. Mike Vitale - bass

Michael Vitale holds a Master's Degree from Duquesne University in Classical Double Bass Performance and a Bachelor's Degree from Millersville University in Music Pedagogy/Perfomance. He has performed with several orchestras in Pennsylvania and has extensive theater and opera experience, including national tours of "The Wedding Singer", "Footloose", and "Beehive: The 60s Musical". Mr Vitale has played in over 40 states while touring with "The Recipe", a bluegrass/rock band, and outside the U.S. while working on cruise ships with Royal Caribbean International and Azamara Club Cruises. He also has backed artists including: Charlie Gracie, Robert Gordon, Tommy Conwell, and Doug Jernigan. Currently, Michael maintains an active private teaching studio for both double and electric bassists, and performs with several groups in various venues all across the region.