Learning and Achievement for All. Futuros Prosperos. Thriving Futures.

Amid thousands of Virginia music students, educators, and administrators, Prince William County Public Schools (PWCS) shined at the Virginia Music Educators Association (VMEA) Conference in Richmond, Virginia. The Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School Philharmonic Orchestra and Osbourn Park High School Madrigal Singers were selected as two of only four high school choir and orchestra groups in the state to perform at this prestigious event.

Char Garretson, junior at Colgan High School, expressed, “It was such a great experience being able to play at VMEA, I became closer with the people in my orchestra, and I definitely improved as a musician. I got a lot better at playing...with the other players to make the best music possible.”

Colgan High’s Philharmonic Orchestra highlighted themes of collaboration in their program, featuring several student soloists, the Osbourn Park High Madrigals, the Colgan High Wind Symphony Percussion section, and members of the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Symphony Orchestra.

“I am extremely proud of our students in the Colgan Philharmonic Orchestra for being selected to perform at the VMEA Conference. What an incredible honor the VMEA has bestowed on us! The credit for this amazing recognition goes directly to our director of orchestras, Mr. Ben Bernstein. Under his guidance, his drive for excellence, and his expertise, Mr. Bernstein has led our students to achieve this accomplishment twice in our eight-year existence as a school,” praised Dr. Timothy Healey, principal of Colgan.

Ruth Osaro, senior at Osbourn Park High, shared her experience preparing for this event, “Learning all the music in a short period of time while balancing school, work, and family was a challenge, but there was so much to take away from it all: self-discipline, perseverance, and an immense increase in my love for music.”

The Osbourn Park Madrigal Singers presented a program celebrating the theme “Finding Your Joy, Again,” featuring a piece by Hollywood composer Vincent Oppido. Oppido’s piece “Bridge Builder,” embodies messages of joy, unity, selflessness, and the generosity of the human spirit.

“Our Madrigal choir comprises a diverse group of talented students representing the best of Osbourn Park. I am so proud to have this opportunity to share their talents. This could not have been accomplished without the commitment of our students, the support of our community and families, and the direction of Mr. Dominick Izzo,” said Lisamarie Kane, principal of Osbourn Park.

Michelle Milligan, administrative coordinator for fine and performing arts, elaborated on the selection process for schools to be invited to perform stating, “Selected ensembles must participate in a highly competitive application process. A conference selection committee consisting of current and retired K-12 and higher education music professionals review applications that include a written history of the school, and ensemble historical data on concert repertoire, and assessment ratings and recordings that demonstrate multiple years of superior performance.”

Congratulations to the students who represented PWCS at the 2023 VMEA Conference:

Charles J. Colgan Sr. High School

  • Laney Bahm
  • Eugene Bartholomew III
  • Kyle Bostick
  • Samantha Brinton
  • Claire Brown
  • Kathryn Choi
  • Allison Crane
  • Ian Croker
  • Janice Curlee
  • Michael DiNorma
  • Abigail Dumas
  • Isaak Fowkes
  • Abigail Gabalski
  • Char Garretson
  • David George
  • Amanda Gestrich
  • Bernice Gonzales
  • Lesley Gonzalez Villegas
  • Makenna Howell
  • Erik Lindgren
  • Donovan Long
  • Connor Lozano
  • Lauren MacDonald
  • Ava Magnell
  • Lily McDonald
  • Isabella Mead
  • Natalie Nanthavongsa
  • Mia Navarro
  • Grace Porterfield
  • Jackson Ramirez
  • Athiana Reyes Cordero
  • Landon Runnels
  • Chloe Southerland
  • Matthew Staton
  • Mason Weintz
  • Alexander Windmiller
  • Donovan Woodard
  • Emily Yeh
  • Hannah Yim

Osbourn Park High School

  • Mahsood Ali
  • Lily Atkinson
  • Leland Boxer
  • Sarah De Groot
  • Jilliane Dela Vega
  • Taison Ellsworth
  • Alejandro Gonzalez Ramirez
  • Katelyn Gregory
  • Wyatt Jean
  • Kayla Minter
  • Jaden Mounkhaty
  • Charity Osaro
  • Ruth Osaro
  • Sridatta Pasupunuti
  • Camery Petty
  • Yvette Pineda
  • Ansh Rao
  • Viviana Rodriguez
  • Katie Scharlat
  • Claire Snyder
  • Roberto Solito-Vasquez
  • Santino Stewart
  • Ally Velez
  • Jenna Wilson