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Villages Elementary student selected for participation in Florida All-State Ensemble

Shelby Lenz  Music education is strong and thriving in Lake County where an elementary school student was accepted for participation in one of two All-State elementary music ensembles. Shelby Lenz attends Villages Elementary of Lady Lake and performed with the FMEA All-State Elementary Orff Ensemble in Tampa, January 15, 2016 at the Tampa Convention Center.  Almost 800 students from around the state auditioned for two ensembles and Shelby was the only student accepted from Lake County! Congratulations, Shelby!  Her teacher, Rosemary Pilonero, is a member of the Florida Music Educators Association and President-Elect of the Florida Elementary Music Educators Association. 
The inaugural performance of the first All-State Orff Ensemble in the nation took place at the Tampa Convention Center January 15, 2016 at 1:30 PM.  This new ensemble provides opportunities for elementary musicians to showcase standards-based music skills and techniques - such as instrumental performance, movement/dance, improvisation, and singing – all elements of the principles of Orff Schulwerk.  Developed by famed composers Carl Orff and Gunild Keetman, Orff Schulwerk is an approach to music teaching and learning based on things children like to do:  sing, chant rhymes, clap, dance, and play instruments.  A traditional Orff Ensemble features young musicians singing, chanting, dancing, improvising, and playing instruments such as recorders and student-sized melodic percussion instruments, known as Orff instruments, designed by Carl Orff.  FEMEA Immediate Past President, Julie Hebert, who championed the development of this new ensemble, said, “With so many of Florida’s elementary music educators using the Orff-Schulwerk approach to teach music, it seems fitting that we are the first state in the nation to offer an All-State Orff Ensemble for students. FEMEA is beyond thrilled to provide this new performance opportunity for Florida’s outstanding young musicians.” 
The 2016 FMEA All-State Orff Ensemble was directed by Master Orff Clinicians, Sandy Lantz and Gretchen Wahlberg from Ft. Myers, Florida.  Lisa Hewitt, All-State Orff Ensemble Coordinator, pointed out that “this experience will be enriching for students, teachers and parents. The Orff process engages children in guiding them toward creating music on their own. The concert showcased the creativity as well as the musical talent of the students selected.”
FEMEA President, Marie Radloff, said, “The artistry these students have achieved in January was truly remarkable, and their All-State experience will be treasured for the rest of their lives.”