2023 District IV


Orchestra Festival

March 8 & 9, 2023


Welcome to the 2023 District IV Orchestra Festival. Today we are celebrating the hard work done by our orchestra students and their awesome teachers! We want this experience to be all about education and encouragement! We want every student to leave here today knowing just how awesome they are and what they can do to make even greater music in the future! We are not here to compare or compete but, rather, we are here to celebrate these fine orchestras! Each of you has a very important part today in making this a success!

Please feel free to clap and truly celebrate all of the groups as they finish their performances! We want them to know how great they all are! At this time, please silence all cell phones and remember no flash photography during today’s performances.


MARCH 8, 2023

Crestwood Middle School 8th Grade Orchestra

Orion Burke, Director

Oscar Smith Middle School Concert Orchestra

Warm Up: Appalachian Hymn – Soon Hee Newbold

Joust – Richard Meyer

Star Dancer – Mark Williams

Colonel Frederick Cherry Middle School Orchestra

Abigail Puentes, Director

Warm Up: Dizzy Digits – Richard Meyer

Sinfonietta for Strings- Anthony Granata

Dramatic Essay – Mark Williams

Lakeland High School Orchestra

Mary Sensabaugh, Director

Warm Up: Swan Lake –  Tchaikovsky arr. Jack Bullock

Venom Donahoe

Dragon Fire – Susan Day

Western Branch Middle School Orchestra

Kirsten Rowe, Director

Warm Up: Out of the Winter – Larry Clark

Jupiter – Holst arr. Monday

Momentum – Robert Longfield

Hickory Middle School Orchestra

Cheryl Pearson, Director

Warm Up: Gauntlet – Doug Spata

Jupiter – Holst arr. Monday

Night Shift – Richard Meyer

Grassfield High School Freshman Orchestra

Steve Vutsinas, Director; Keith Dublin, Conductor

Warm Up: Scottish Air & Reel – Susan C Brown

Boreas, The Cold, North Wind – Todd Parrish

Rhythm Dances – Brian Balmages 

Grassfield High School Concert Orchestra

Steve Vutsinas, Director; Luke Walker, Conductor

Warm Up: Las Mariposas Exoticas – Doug Spata

The Journey – William Hofeldt

The Black Sea – Gary Gackstatter

Great Bridge Middle School Orchestra

Kate Belasik Malaby, Director

Warm Up: La Rejouissance – Handel arr. Richard Meyer

Dramatic Essay – Williams

Toccatina – Hofeldt

Greenbrier Middle School Panther Orchestra

John S. Husser III, Director

Warm Up: Boreas, The Cold, North Wind – Todd Parrish

Conquistador – Deborah Baker Monday

Declarations – Jeffrey S. Bishop

Oscar Smith High School Concert Orchestra

Deanna Kringel, Director

Warm Up: Korean Folktune – Richard Meyer

Fantasia for Strings – Elliot Del Borgo

Dance Suite – Mozart arr. Johnson

Great Bridge High School Concert Orchestra

Alex Vogler, Director

Appalachian Sunrise

A Pirate’s Voyage

Hickory High School Chamber Orchestra

Steven Campbell, Director

Appalachian Sunrise

A Pirate’s Voyage

Indian River High School Braves Orchestra

Amy Coxwell, Director

Warm Up: Quintus – Larry Clark

Arabian Dreams – Soon Hee Newbold

The Black Sea – Gary Grackstatter

MARCH 9, 2023

Crestwood Middle School 7th Grade Orchestra

Orion Burke, Director


Forest Glenn Middle School Orchestra

Mary Sensabaugh, Director

Warm Up: Russian Music Box – Soon Hee Newbold

Mahler’s Mysterious March – arr. Jim Palmer

Sea Venture – Todd Parrish

Deep Creek Middle School Orchestra

Sarah Hamilton, Director

Warm up: Sahara Crossing – Richard Meyer

Nightrider – Meyer

Gauntlet – Doug Spata

Indian River Middle School Orchestra

Angela Sorce Director

Warm Up: The Red Lion – Jeremy Woolstenhulme

Rite at Stonehenge – Elliot Del Borgo

Contredanse – Larry Clark

Jolliff Middle School Orchestra

Leah Rosenberg, Director

Warm Up: Sheep May Safely Graze – J.S. Bach arr. Dabczynski

Monument Valley – Elledge

Can-Can – Offenbach arr. Isaac

Nansemond River High School Orchestra

Abigail Puentes, Director

Warm Up: Ante Meridian – Todd Parrish

Hornpipe (from “Water Music”) – G.F. Handel arr. Richard Meyer

Lullaby to the Moon – Brian Balmages

Grassfield High School Chamber Orchestra

Steve Vutsinas, Director; Luke Walker, Conductor

Warm up: Melrose Avenue “Danza Arabia” – arr. Carrie Lane G

Two Norweigian Airs – Edvard Grieg

Skylife – David Balakrishnan

Great Bridge High School Chamber Orchestra

Alex Vogler, Director

Warm Up: Adra’s Dance – Brendan McBrien

Phantom Tangos – Brian Balmages

Chapter One – Carold Nunez

Indian River High School Concert Orchestra

Amy Coxwell, Director

Warm Up: Conquistador – Deborah Baker Monday

Acrobats – Richard Meyer

Baroque Variants – Kirt Mosier

Western Branch High School Concert Orchestra

Alex Vogler, Director

Warm Up: Mountain Hymn – Cunalata

Concerto Grosso, Op.6, No.8 – Corelli arr. Todd Parrish

Danse Bacchanale – Saint-Saens arr. Hoffman

Deep Creek High School Chamber Orchestra

Deborah Ramos Smiley, Director

Warm Up: Songs Without Words – Holst arr. Hans

Bailes para Orquestra – Richard Meyer

Perseus – Soon Hee Newbold

Oscar Smith High School Chamber Orchestra

Deanna Kringel, Director

Warm Up: Contrasts in E Minor – Francis Feese

St Paul’s Suite – Gustav Holst

Skylife – Balakrishnan

Meet the judges

Mr. Benjamin Pereyra

Benjamin Pereyra graduated from George Mason University with a Bachelor of Music in Instrumental Music Education. Mr. Pereyra studied viola with National Symphony violinist/violist Edwin Johonnot, NSO violist Raymond Scavelli and Kennedy Center Opera House violist Phillippe Chao. He was principal violist of the Symphony and Chamber Orchestra and was one of the first string players to perform with the school’s pep band, Doc Nix and the Green Machine. While at George Mason University, Mr. Pereyra was a charter member of the Phi Mu Alpha Music Fraternity and was inducted as a Honorary Member of Kappa Kappa Psi Band Fraternity.

Benjamin Pereyra is an orchestra and marching band teacher in the Prince William County Schools. He performs with professional ensembles, such as, American Festival Pops Orchestra, Manassas Chorale, Federicksburg Symphony and has substituted for Mclean Symphony. Mr. Pereyra has worked several years with National Symphony Orchestra Education for the Summer Music Institute. He has participated in rehearsals with the National Symphony and performed in the Orchestra Hall and Millennium Stage, at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Entering his 12th year of teaching, Mr. Pereyra continues to teach at Forest Park High School in Prince William County.


Mr. Ryan Featherer

Ryan E. Featherer has been the Director of Orchestras at Maury High School since 1997. Originally from Virginia Beach, Mr. Featherer is a graduate of Frank W. Cox High School (1993). After graduating, he continued his musical studies at East Carolina University, where he graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education. While at East Carolina University, Mr. Featherer studied viola performance with Fritz Gearhart and conducting with Stephen Blackwelder, Scott Carter and the late Robert House. In the early 2000’s, Mr. Featherer enrolled in the Master Teacher Program at Regent University and in thirteen months, he received his master’s degree in
Secondary Education, again graduating Summa Cum Laude.

During Mr. Featherer’ s tenure at Maury High School, he won several awards and scholarships, most notably the prestigious Sallie Mae First Year Teacher’s Award at both the district and state levels. In 2017, Mr. Featherer was accepted in the Fulbright Teacher Scholar Program, which gave him to teach abroad in Switzerland for one academic year. Mr. Featherer was honored to be selected by his colleagues in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, and the Eastern Shore to serve as the District Chairperson for Band and Orchestra Directors from 2009 – 2013 as a part of the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association. Under the baton of Mr. Featherer, the Orchestras has won prestigious awards and have achieved numerous accolades, not only in Norfolk but also throughout the country. Locally, the Maury Orchestras continue to achieve superior ratings at the District Assessments. In 2013, the Maury Chamber Orchestra was selected from a pool of over 50 Orchestras from across the country to perform at the National School Board Annual National Convention in San Francisco, CA. Not only did the Maury Orchestra perform for some 11,000 educators, but they were also fortunate to perform on the landing of Alcatraz Island. Because of their hard work and dedication, the members of the Maury Orchestras have been fortunate to travel abroad and compete with other ensembles throughout the U.S., Europe, Canada, Mexico, and the Caribbean, including destinations such as Alaska and Hawaii.

Mr. Featherer has had the honor to guest conduct throughout Virginia, North Carolina, Maryland, Florida, Arizona and in Tennessee. Most recently, Mr. Featherer conducted the Tennessee State Middle School Orchestra. Mr. Featherer has also adjudicated competitions and assessments throughout the states of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Maryland. Mr. Featherer is involved with many music organizations. He is currently a member of the American String Teachers Association (ASTA), the National Association for Music
Education (NAfME) and the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association (VBODA). Mr. Featherer continues to spread the joy of our young students and believes that all students deserve a well-rounded education that includes music. He continues to lobby for music and its importance in the core curriculum. Mr. Featherer is known for his enthusiastic and infectious teaching style both on and off the podium. He has often said that gets his strength and drive are from his two children, Miles, and Charlotte. Having grown up in the Hampton Roads, Mr. Featherer is excited to give back to the communities and organizations that shaped his future.



Mr. Brian Worsdale

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Mr. Worsdale attended public schools, the Manhattan School of Music Pre-College Division, and received his formal music training as a trombone student of David Finlayson (New York Philharmonic). He is a conducting protégé of the late Maestro Jonathan Strasser (former faculty of Manhattan School of Music) and has continued his professional studies working with Larry Livingston (on faculty of University of Southern California) and Anthony Maiello (on faculty of George Mason University). He had recently returned to the Manhattan School of Music as conductor of the Pre-College Division Symphony Orchestra.

His work as a guest clinician and adjudicator has brought him to cities throughout the United States. He has conducted Texas’ Region 23 Orchestra, The Southeastern Regional Orchestra for the State of Virginia and many other honor bands and orchestras. He is a senior teaching artist and consultant for The New York Pops and helps run their Kids on Stage program.

Having appeared on the podiums of the Brooklyn Symphony Orchestra, The Williamsburg Consort (VA), The Westchester Symphonic Winds, The Brooklyn Wind Symphony, The Kilkenny Youth Orchestra (Ireland), and the Royal Spa Brass Band (UK), he is in active demand as a guest conductor and clinician, frequently working with middle school and high school programs across the country. He is a champion of new music and young artists, having commissioned works for both wind ensembles and orchestras, including many new works from composer Michael Markowski.

Perhaps most importantly, Mr. Worsdale’s commitment to education shines brightest through his entrepreneurial efforts to build stronger wind band programs in New York City. The award-winning “InterSchool Orchestra of New York” Symphonic Band, which is one of the only private youth wind ensembles in the Metropolitan New York area, is an ensemble he began more than two decades ago. Last season, he served as Music Director and Conductor of the ISO organization and led the Symphony Orchestra.  He also was conductor of the Grand Street Community Band.

During the summer months, Brian calls Delaware County, New York his home where he serves as artistic director and conductor of the French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts. There, he leads the symphony orchestra, conducting classes, and numerous pit orchestras while supervising one of the largest and most comprehensive summer performing arts programs in the United States.

Mr. Worsdale conducts YPO and runs the Apprentice Conducting Program.


Mr. Alex Kelly (Sight Reading Judge)

Mr. Alex Kelly is a native of Chesapeake, Virginia where he graduated from Grassfield High School in 2011. He received his bachelor’s degree in Music Education from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia in 2015. In 2022, Mr. Kelly received a master’s degree in Educational Leadership: Administration and Supervision from Old Dominion University. He currently serves as the proud Orchestra Director of the Princess Anne High School orchestras. Mr. Kelly has received numerous awards and recognition for his teaching. He was recognized in 2018 as the recipient of the Outstanding New Orchestra Director of the Year, awarded by the Virginia String Teachers Association. During his five years working with the orchestras at Kempsville Middle School, he also was awarded Teacher of the Year. In 2022 he was also recognized as a Distinguished Educator at Princess Anne High School and runner-up for the Teacher of the Year award. Additionally, Mr. Kelly has been recognized as a successful event chair for the 2019 District II Orchestra Assessment event as well as a co-chair for the District II Junior District Orchestra Audition event, and the Virginia Beach City Public Schools All-City Orchestra in 2022. Outside of the classroom, Mr. Kelly has performed with Symphonicity, the Virginia Beach Symphony Orchestra based out of the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts. He is also currently serving as the Treasurer and board member for the Virginia String Teachers Association as well as serving as the Instrumental District Representative for the Virginia Band and Orchestra Directors Association in District II. When Mr. Kelly isn’t teaching, practicing, or performing, he enjoys spending his time with his dogs, Coda & Clover, and maintaining his saltwater reef tank.