March 9, 2014 – Capital Orchestra Festival in Washington, D.C.

Music Celebrations International Presents:

Capital Orchestra Festival-banner

March 9, 2014
1:00 pm
The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
Concert Hall
2700 F Street NW
Washington, DC 20566

Featuring three outstanding youth orchestras from throughout the United States performing works in succession by Brahms, Bloch, Bernstein, Holst, Mendelssohn, Hanson, Williams, Bartók, and Gould!

Featured Performers:

Vero Beach High School Philharmonic Orchestra
Vero Beach, Florida
Matthew Stott, Conductor

Traverse City Central High School Orchestra
Traverse City, Michigan
Ellen Boyer, Conductor

Mesquite High Symphonic Strings
Gilbert, Arizona
Amber Dudley, Conductor

Featured works include:

Morton Gould | American Salute
Samuel Barber | Adagio for Strings
John Williams | Theme from the J.F.K. Suite
Howard Hanson | Symphony No. 2 “Romantic” Adagio / Allegro Molto
Felix Mendelssohn | Sinfonia No. 5
Béla Bartók | Rumanian Dances
Ernset Bloch | Concerto Grosso No. 1
Felix Mendelssohn | Sinfonia No. 7
Sir Edward Elgar | Sospiri
James Horner | Music from Apollo 13

Free Concert
Tickets Required – Order Tickets

Download Concert Poster

About the Artists…


Vero Beach High School is located in Indian River County, on Florida’s Treasure Coast. The principal of Vero Beach High School is Mr. Shawn O’Keefe, and the superintendent of the School District of Indian River County is Dr. Fran Adams.

The Vero Beach High School Philharmonic Orchestra is composed of auditioned students in grades nine through twelve. The philharmonic orchestra presents more than a dozen performances each school year in Vero Beach and surrounding communities. In addition, all members of the philharmonic orchestra perform in the Vero Beach High School Symphony Orchestra, which combines with outstanding wind, brass and percussion players from the Vero Beach High School Band program. In 2011, the symphony orchestra received first place, full orchestra, at the National Orchestra Festival, in Kansas City, Missouri.

The Vero Beach High School orchestra program also consists of the concert orchestra, freshmen orchestra, and the sinfonia. VBHS orchestras have been consistently rated ‘superior’ by the Florida Orchestra Association at both the district and state level. Students in the orchestras also perform in chamber ensembles and as soloists, presenting hundreds of separate performances each year.

The performing arts department at Vero Beach High School also consists of the band program, directed by James Sammons and Page Howell, the chorus program, directed by Gregory Harris, and the drama department, directed by Dee Rose.

Under the leadership of Commander Tom Fritz, orchestra was added to the curriculum of Indian River County Public Schools in 1999, with a single class at Oslo Middle School. An orchestra class was added to the curriculum at Vero Beach High School in 2001. There are now over four hundred students at four secondary schools.

Matt Stott is an orchestra director for the School District of Indian River County, where he teaches at Vero Beach High School and Gifford Middle School. Matt previously taught at Oslo Middle School, where he was awarded Teacher of the Year in 2007. He also instructed several elementary violin classes. Dozens of young musicians from these programs have been named to the All-State orchestra, and many continue their orchestral studies at the collegiate and conservatory level.

A native of Yorkville, Illinois, Matt learned the violin from Patti Austin and Susan Starrett. He then attended Baylor University, where he earned his Bachelors of Music Education. He studied violin with Dr. Bruce Berg and conducting with Stephen Heyde and Michael Haithcock. In 2010, Matt was named Alumni Music Educator of the Year. As a violinist at Baylor, he performed in the Baylor Symphony Orchestra, Baylor Chamber Orchestra, and the Waco Symphony Orchestra. While at Baylor, he also taught violin lessons through the Central Texas String Academy. In 2011, Matt received the Laurel Award for Cultural Leadership by the Cultural Council of Indian River County. In the summer of 2012, Matt was a fellow at the Juilliard School where he studied conducting. Matt is a member of the American String Teacher’s Association, the Florida Orchestra Association, and the Florida Music Educators Association.

An avid athlete, Matt also spent eight years as an assistant basketball coach for Vero Beach High School. Matt and his wife, Katie, are proud parents of a four-year old daughter, Hannah, and a one-year old son, Luke.


Located at the southern end of West Grand Traverse Bay, Traverse City is the hub of a variety of educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities. The Traverse City area is known for its spectacular natural beauty, the deep waters of Lake Michigan, and the rolling, wooded terrain interrupted by acres of orchards. Central High School is located at the base of the Old Mission Peninsula and has approximately 1200 students in grades 9-12. The school offers orchestra, band, and choir; each ensemble meets daily during the school day. The full orchestra you see today is a combination of five different classes. The groups meets on Monday nights throughout the year to make this group a possibility.

The Traverse City Central Orchestra regularly participates in the MSBOA (Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association) Festivals where they consistently receive superior ratings. They have done children’s programs in the community, performed at a memorial service for JFK, commissioned new compositions, accompanied silent movies and played at area churches and nursing homes.

Ellen Boyer grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and recieved her Bachelor of Music Education from Northern Michigan University. Her master’s degree is in Violin Performance from Southern Illinois University, where she studied with John Kendall; an educator whose influence continues today. Mrs. Boyer has taught at the St. Louis Conservatory and School for the Arts and in the Preparatory Division of the University of Southern California. Mrs. Boyer currently teaches at Traverse City Central High School and East Middle School, both located in Traverse City, Michigan. Her groups have played at numerous Michigan Music Conferences, at the 2010 ASTA Conference in San Francisco, and participated in trips to Europe and the Czech Republic. Currently she serves on an educator panel for the Yamaha Corporation. She and her husband Joe have 2 wonderful daughters, a great son-in-law, one soon to be son-in-law, and new to the scene, a grand daughter that is the delight of their lives.


The Mesquite Symphonic Strings from Gilbert, Arizona are one of four string orchestras in the Mesquite High School Orchestra program, which also consists of a harp ensemble and full symphony orchestra. The Symphonic Strings have participated in festivals receiving superior ratings since their inception in 1998, and many students in the group are members of the AMEA all-region and all-state orchestras. They have been selected twice to perform as honored guests at the Arizona Music Educators Association State Convention both in 2009 and 2012, and have been under the direction of Amber Dudley since 1999. Students in this group have performed in state and national festivals and competitions which include performances in California, Florida, Boston MA, New York City in Carnegie Hall, and are elated to now perform in the Capital Music Festival in Washington D.C. at the Kennedy Center.

Amber Dudley has been the Director of Orchestras at Mesquite High School since 1999. Groups under her direction include four string orchestras, a harp ensemble, and a full symphony orchestra. Mrs. Dudley holds a Bachelor of Music Education and a Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance, and a Master of Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University. Mrs. Dudley has also completed the Suzuki training program on both viola and violin. She has performed in the Flagstaff, Chandler, and Mesa Symphony Orchestras, and currently performs on viola with the Ash String Quartet.

Mrs. Dudley enjoys serving as a guest conductor and clinician for various youth and honor orchestras in Arizona. In addition to classroom teaching, she has been a faculty member of the NAU Summer Music Camp, the University of Alaska Fairbanks Music Academy, and the Scottsdale Summer Music Camp, serving as both a teacher and conductor. She has taught Suzuki group classes through the Valley of the Sun Suzuki Association, and serves on the advisory board for the Metropolitan Youth Symphony. She has been a faculty member with the University of Phoenix since 2009, and enjoys teaching in their college of Education and college of Humanities to bring awareness on the importance of arts education. She is a member of the American String Teacher’s Association, American Music Educator’s Association, Suzuki Association of America, and the National Education Association. Mrs. Dudley resides in Chandler, Arizona with her husband and three daughters.


Traverse Central (1)

vbhs philharmonic


June 16-26, 2013 – Preucil School String Orchestra performs in China

Preucil School String Orchestra
Iowa City, Iowa
Anthony Arnone, conductor

Thursday, June 20, 2013
Joint performance with High School Symphony Orchestra at Central Conservatory of Music
Music School of the Central Conservatory of Music

Friday, June 21, 2013
Great Wall of China
Ju Yong Pass

Sunday, June 23, 2013
Beidaihe Workers’ Theatre

Monday, June 24, 2013
Joint performance with Peiyang Chorus of Tianjin University
University Performing Arts Center, Tianjin University

To Be Selected From:
Berger | A Short Overture for Strings
Mozart | Serenata Notturna, K. 239
Dvorak | Three Slavonic Dances
Bach | Concerto for Three Violins and String Orchestra in D major, III. Allegro
Grieg | Suite for Strings, Op. 40, In Olden Style from Holberg’s Time
Bartok | Rumanian Folk Dances


About the Artists…

Preucil School String Orchestra
The Preucil School of Music is a non-profit, certified member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts, serving over 750 students with a 38 member faculty.  Founded in 1975, the PreucilSchool evolved from a Suzuki method violin program established in 1963 by Doris Preucil.  Sonja Zeithamel became Director of the school in 1995 when Doris retired.  The curriculum includes lessons in strings and piano, theory, pedagogy, ensembles, and an early childhood education program.

The School is housed in two locations.  The Main Campus, an Iowa City landmark, is housed in a historic Czechoslovakian Hall built in 1900. The Preucil School of Music North Campus and MorrisEarlyChildhoodEducationCenter is a newer facility built in 2002.  Iowa City is a cultural haven in the midst of farmland, 200 miles west of Chicago.  Home of the University of Iowa, the city has a population of 62,000 plus 29,000 University students.

The Preucil School String Orchestra (PSSO), numbering 75 students aged 13 through 18, is the most advanced of five training orchestras at the School.  It has performed extensively in the Midwestern United States and been featured at international teacher conferences and on Public Television.  In 1991 a reduced ensemble from the PSSO began international concert tours. Their first tour took them to Germany, Czechoslovakia, Hungary, and Austria, where the orchestra won first prize for String Orchestra at the Vienna International Festival for Music and Youth.  Succeeding concert tour orchestras performed in England in 1994, Germany in 1997, Italy in 2001, the CzechRepublic, Hungary and Austria in 2005, and Austria in 2009.

Anthony Arnone, Conductor
Anthony Arnone is associate professor of cello at The University of Iowa School of Music, and is on the faculty of the Preucil School of Music in Iowa City, where he teaches and conducts. During summers he teaches at the Madeline Island Music Camp.

Mr. Arnone has collaborated with many of today’s great chamber ensembles and artists. Performances have taken him around the United States and Europe as soloist, chamber musician, and conductor.  Mr. Arnone’s recordings with Albany and VAI  have received acclaimed reviews in prominent music journals and online classical sites.  A new CD through MSR, called “Beckoning,” premieres works by Serra Hwang, Lera Auerbach, Huang Ruo, and Jay Greenberg.

As a cello soloist and chamber musician, Mr. Arnone was a founding member of the Meridien Trio and the Sedgewick String Quartet, which performed regularly at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston.  More recently, he has been part of the Matisse Trio, a faculty trio at The University of Iowa, which has played throughout the United States and at international conferences.

Mr. Arnone’s love of teaching has taken him throughout the country to give master classes, including Oberlin College and the Cleveland Institute of Music.  At home, Mr. Arnone brings celebrated teachers and performers to The University of Iowa for the annual “Cello Daze,” a weekend of lectures, concerts, and master classes.

A native of Honolulu, Mr. Arnone received his bachelor of music degree from the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Colin Carr. He left graduate studies with Bonnie Hampton at the San Francisco Conservatory to accept a position with the Orchestré Philharmonique de Nice, France, where he remained for two years, continuing his studies with Paul and Maude Tortelier. He completed his master’s degree in conducting at Wichita State University.