Achieving A Dream, Helping Worthy Causes In Pittston Area
Pittston Area Junior Lilly Vito has qualified for and will be attending the Pennsylvania Music Educators Association (PMEA) State Band Festival this April for the clarinet. Vito is the first Pittston Area student to qualify for and attend the state festival in more than 20 years. The process to achieve this long-term goal of hers was a long one. Fifty people auditioned in her part and she got fifth place, qualifying for districts, which were held at the Pittston Area High School. After districts, Vito auditioned for regionals. Only six people were accepted into regionals for her part and Vito placed third, qualifying for regional band. Vito attended the regional band festival, which was held in March at Lewisburg High School. Vito auditioned for the state festival at regionals and was one of the two clarinet players who qualified for the state festival, which is held in Pittsburgh. In May, Vito can audition for nationals, which will be held in November. The state festival will take place from April 3- 7. The students going to states will practice for their performance for a few days, watch performances, and visit vendors selling band related items. The performance will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center on April 7. Vito has worked hard to achieve her dreams. “Every day, I would aim for at least two hours of practice at home in addition to doing around an hour of practice in school.” Vito also takes private lessons weekly and participates in sectionals, which is when students get together and go over the music. “I wasn’t expecting states and I wasn’t expecting regionals. I was just going there and seeing what happened,” said Vito. Dancing for a cure Preparations are underway for Mini-THON, which will be held from noon to 10 p.m. Saturday, March 23, at the Martin L. Mattei Middle School. Mini-THON is a smaller scale version of Thon, a dance fundraiser held annually at Penn State. Mini-THON’s mission is to help find an end to pediatric cancer and gives money earned from the events to Four Diamonds. Four Diamonds is an organization that was made to help children and their families with the cost of cancer treatments and very expensive medical bills that go along with that. This is not the first year Mini-THON was held locally. Last year, Mini-THON was put on as a National Honor Society service project for students at Pittston Area High School. Mini-THON was planned in a few of weeks and was held at St. Mary’s Church in Avoca. “This year, we are hoping to have a much bigger turnout,” said Mini-THON committee member Bria Brombacher. The members of the group have been spreading word for the Mini-THON through various social media outlets so more people are informed and aware. The theme of Mini-THON this year is going to be a carnival and there will be a lot of games to play. At the top of every hour, there will be fun events held. Brombacher believes the biggest crowd pleasers at the event will be the Teacher Talent Show held at 2 p.m. and Pie a Teacher which will be held at 3 p.m. Volunteer teachers are from the Pittston Area School District. Tickets to this event are $10 and can be purchased at the door. Attendees do not have to stay the whole time and can even come back without paying a second time. Donations are being accepted and can be sent from the Mini-THON Instagram account @paminithon. Hannah Farber is a student at Pittston Area. Student columns are published Wednesdays during the school year.