Artist of the Week: Ella Ludmerer


Artist of the Week: Ella Ludmerer

June 11, 2024

Ella Ludmerer’s first year at Warwick Valley High School encouraged her musically. Coming into the Warwick Valley Central School District for the first time as a freshman, she said she looked around the room at her peers and saw how they were inspired by the school’s music program. In her sophomore year, she found the creativity and music selections of a new music teacher – WVHS band director Megan Shafer – motivated her to continue pursuing music on her own as a hobby as well as in school.

Now, as a senior, Ella offers to help younger students who may be struggling with notes or rhythms.

She began playing clarinet as a fourth-grader, playing in school bands throughout her early school years. She played in All-County in eighth grade. In her freshman year she switched to bass clarinet, and performed in the New York State School Music Association competition.

“Music was sort of like an extracurricular when I was in middle school,” she said. “It wasn’t super-important to me at the time, but when I transferred here I began to expand horizons and get into it and interested. And, especially when Ms. Shafer came to the high school when I was a sophomore was when it really started to become more of a hobby too.”

“I started to take piano lessons to learn and read music better, because I wasn’t very good at it. That was a lot of fun and it helped me read and understand the music language,” she said. “Then, it just became a really fun thing for me that I did in and outside of school.”

Ella is now a member of both Wind Ensemble (bass clarinet) and Concert Band (b flat clarinet), as well as the school’s marching band (b flat clarinet).

“She started off in sophomore year performing in Concert Band, and then worked hard to audition and be accepted into the Wind Ensemble for the last two years,” said Ms. Shafer. “She is a tremendous asset to both ensembles; in Concert Band she helps the underclassmen with any notes or rhythms they may be struggling with. She is also the band’s secretary and helps out with any task.”

She said Ella is always positive and hard-working in practices and concerts and brings “a great energy” to the ensembles.

“Being around people that were better than me, made me want to do better, and once I began to understand it, it became way more fun,” Ella said.

“This year I had room in my schedule so I ended up joining the Concert Band to help out with the other kids but also to learn more and be able to play more music,” Ella said. “The music Ms. Shafer picks I really enjoy, which also makes me want to do better. …  I’m not like a mentor or anything. I try to help out as much as I can.”

Ms. Shafer said she picks selections from many different genres instead of focusing on only traditional band literature to expand their knowledge and explore their musical interests.

“This year we performed music inspired by Gershwin that emulated the city skyline, Middle Eastern tonal center, Latin inspired rhythms and melodies, and lyrical compositions,” she said. “By choosing from multiple genres it stretches the students’ abilities as they learn more complex rhythms, melodies, and harmonies.”

This year, Ella began performing in a four-person band outside school. She joined last fall. A friend, a drummer, needed a lead singer. She was in choir when she was younger but this was something new. The band plays alternative rock covers and some jazz. The band will play one or two shows a month this summer.

Ella will attend SUNY Delhi for nursing next year.


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