The Indiana Area School District has a long tradition of excellence in the area of String and Full Orchestras. Dating back to 1957, the orchestra program has produced outstanding players and leaders who have gone on to perform professionally around the world.
We offer a variety of performance and learning opportunities for string students. Our foundation is the "classical" Western European tradition, but we offer learning experiences in a variety of other genres, including jazz, global styles, rock, and traditional American styles. Lessons are offered during the school day for students in grades 4 - 12.
Our ensembles include:
Senior High Orchestra
Senior High Pit Orchestra for our IHS musical productions
Senior High Chamber Orchestra (Chamber of Strings)
Junior High Orchestra
Junior High Chamber Orchestra (Corelli Chamber Strings)
Indie Strings (Alternative string styles)
Additionally, our senior high students have opportunities to compete and succeed in the PMEA District, Regional, and State Orchestra Festivals and NAfME All-Eastern Orchestra.
Several of our students have been selected for nearby city youth orchestras, and perform with the Pittsburgh Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Johnstown Youth Symphony Orchestra.
Some of our orchestra alumni include
World renowned violinist, Maria Bachmann
Dallas Symphony violinist, Heidi Peterson Itashiki
Cleveland Orchestra violinist, Scott Weber
European Baroque violinist, Laura Johnson
Miami-based conductor, Tom Servinsky
Noted string educator and bassist, Aaron Craven
Jazz Bass phenom and educator, Philip Kuehn
ShopHQ TV Host, Connie Kunkle
Conductor and string pedagogue, Scott Laird
Altoona Symphony Principal Second Violin, Stephanie Laird Everett
Conductors and String Teachers in the IASD since 1957 include:
Dr. Clifford Cox – Ben Franklin
George Pollock – Senior High
James Sullinger – Junior High
Donald Amendt – Eisenhower and Ben Franklin
Stanley Servinsky – Horace Mann and East Pike
David Jeckavitch – Senior High and Elementary
Mary Bender – Horace Mann and East Pike
Beth Cribbs – Eisenhower and Ben Franklin
Sandy Johnston - Junior High and Elementary Schools
Beth Grafton – Senior High, Junior High, and Elementary
Jason Olear – Horace Mann, Eisenhower, and Ben Franklin
Scott Kemerer – East Pike and Eisenhower
Dr. Jason Rummel – East Pike and Horace Mann
Julianne Laird – Senior High, Junior High, and Elementary
All of these teachers helped to establish the orchestra program in the Indiana Area School District. Their dedication to teaching strings and string-based ensembles laid the foundation for our outstanding program.