Orchestra strikes gold at ISSMA competition


Violet Isaac, Vanessa Xiao, Piper Murphy, and Ian Minor advance to the ISSMA State competition. (Submitted by Piper Murphy)

Catherine Niculescu

On Jan. 29, 13 soloists and 76 ensemble musicians from Park Tudor’s orchestra, spanning from sixth grade through twelfth grade, headed to Decatur Middle School for the Indiana State School Music Association (ISSMA) competition. All Park Tudor students who participated came home with gold medals, continuing the school’s tradition of musical excellence. 

Orchestra teacher Jose Valencia was especially proud to see his students succeed, marking a victorious ISSMA in his first year at Park Tudor.

“I watched as all students made strides with their string technique while others stepped up into leadership roles in their ensembles,” Valencia said proudly.

Hoping to build off of this momentum is a senior Group I ensemble, composed of violinist Violet Isaac, violinist Vanessa Xiao, bassist Ian Minor, and cellist Piper Murphy. The ensemble, along with soloists Maddie Xu and Hannah Hampson, will represent Park Tudor at the ISSMA State competition on Feb. 26th.

“ISSMA has always been a highlight of orchestra, and I’m so glad that my group is advancing to state,” Murphy said. “We’ve worked really well together as an ensemble, and I am so proud of what we have already achieved.”