Hudson -- School officials are calling separate performances by two high school instrumental groups "incredible accomplishments."

The 35-member Hudson Chamber Orchestra will compete March 1 at New York's Carnegie Hall in the National Orchestra Cup. The orchestra is one of only eight groups in the nation selected to perform as part of the competition, according to the district.

The 19-member Hudson High School Jazz 1 Ensemble is one of two groups in the state selected to perform at the Ohio Music Educator's State Professional Development Conference, which runs Feb. 7 through 9. The ensemble's performance is Feb. 7 at 5:15 p.m.

Hudson High School music teacher Roberto Iriarte is conductor of both groups.

"In both cases, it is an honor and privilege to be selected," he said. "It feels exhilarating and exciting."

Both groups are raising their "level of performance and reaching to new heights for these performances," according to Iriarte, who has conducted the chamber orchestra for 17 years and the jazz ensembles for 16.

This will be the first time the groups have performed at the venues, according to Iriarte. The Chamber Orchestra was invited to attend the National Orchestra Cup in 2010, but had already committed to a concert tour of Italy.

"I would like the community to know how proud I am to lead such great young people in this community and how happy I am to be a part of their lives," Iriarte said. "We are in this endeavor together sharing the common goals of achieving high technical ability and mature musical thought."

The conductor shares the love of music and "striving for exhilarating performances," with his students, he said.

But he also shares a gratefulness to more than just his students.

"I am grateful and blessed to receive such enormous support from the school and community for these extra-special endeavors that extend the boundaries of the rehearsal room and create memories that last forever," Iriarte said.

Hudson High School Principal Brian Wilch shares Iriarte's pride in the students' accomplishments, Wilch said.

"I am very proud, as well as continually amazed, by what I hear and see when our instrumental and vocal groups perform . . . what a great reflection on our school district and community," Wilch said. "To be invited to perform and/or compete in what's arguably the finest hall in the country is a great honor."

A recent performance by the chamber orchestra, at Cleveland's Severance Hall showed Wilch that "our student musicians seem to raise the bar even further, making their director, their parents, our school community, and especially their principal very, very proud," he said.

"I'll also make the point that because of our level of performance and the deportment of our student-musicians, it's not uncommon for Hudson High School to be invited back in future years," Wilch added.


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