Arts & EntertainmentEducationThe Putnam Examiner

Mahopac High School Musician First Violinist at All-State Orchestra

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Mahopac High School junior Rachel Berger played First Violin in the All-State Symphony Orchestra at the NYSSMA Conference in Rochester in early December.

Mahopac High School junior Rachel Berger

The All-State Symphony Orchestra is made up of the top student musicians in New York and Berger was selected after auditioning at the Solo Festival in the spring.

“Even scoring perfectly at the audition, which Rachel did, does not guarantee you a spot in one of the ensembles,” said Evan McGregor, Mahopac High Orchestra Director and Music Department Chair. “Rachel’s selection is a testament to her drive for excellence and her achievement of it.”

Berger started playing violin when she was five years old. She said it was great to play with a group of such high-level musicians at All-State, but that she also enjoys playing at local hospitals and nursing homes, which she has done for community service.

“I really love to play violin because I find it extremely rewarding to see how my music can bring comfort and joy to others,” she said. “It is incredibly heartwarming to see the faces of the old and sick light up when I perform.”

The Mahopac Central School District is known for its outstanding performing arts. The high school offers a wide array of musical ensembles including the Philharmonic Orchestra, String Sinfonietta, Chorus, Wind Ensemble and Symphonic Band and produces a musical extravaganza known as “Illusion” each year featuring the district’s most talented rock musicians and vocalists.

It is also regularly cited as among the Best Schools for Music Education by the NAMM Foundation.

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