Artists of the Week: Alexander Mita & Mila Chan


Artists of the Week: Alexander Mita & Mila Chan

April 4, 2024
Congratulations to this week’s Warwick Valley Central School District Artists of the Week, Alexander Mita and Mila Chan, on being selected to the Orange County Music Educator’s Association (OCMEA) Elementary All-County Orchestra! The pair will be joining their musical peers from across the county to practice and perform during the OCMEA Elementary All-County Festival on April 26 and 27.
Students must have their names submitted to audition for OCMEA ensembles by their teachers. Sanfordville music teacher Keely Blaikner understands just how tough it can be for fourth grade students to break into the county-wide ensemble, especially because chairs are typically filled by more experienced fifth and sixth grade players. Nonetheless, she encouraged the enthusiasm and ambition that Alexander and Mila showed, and helped them work on their preparations.
An OCMEA All-County audition requirements include: a prepared solo, playing multiple-octave scales, and sight reading.
“They practiced and practiced for weeks individually,” said Ms. Blaikner. “As the audition date drew closer I could see that they were well prepared. Then, it was all up to them.”
On audition day — back on January 6 — all of Alexander and Mila’s hard work paid off. They achieved their goal; both were accepted into the Elementary All-County Orchestra. 
“I’m so happy for these two amazing members of our fourth grade orchestra,” said a proud Ms. Blaikner. “And we’re all excited to have two Sanfordville students representing Warwick in the county-wide orchestra!”
During the All-County festival this April, Alexander will be playing viola and Mila the violin. Even as they practice their folders of music for the upcoming OCMEA festival, they are also preparing solo materials for another upcoming regional music program, the New York State Scholastic Music Association’s (NYSSMA) Festival. For their NYSSMA auditions, both Alexander and Mila will be performing on piano, and Alexander will also audition on viola.
Both Alexander and Mila come from musical families. Alexander’s mom played viola and Mila’s mom plays piano and used to play violin. The arts in general have ben an important part of both Alexander and Mila’s lives.
“When I first started drawing, I really liked it,” said Alexander, “so I decided to keep doing it. I really like drawing self-portraits, and coloring and painting.”
Mila added how much she’s enjoyed the variety of art projects she’s been able to dive into this year with art teacher Sunwha Gil, who admires Mila’s drive and focus.
“Mila is not only talented, she holds high expectations for herself and maintains a goal-oriented mindset,” explained Ms. Gil. “She loves to challenge herself, and her successful planning really helps her excel in many directions. I am extremely proud of Mila and enjoy seeing her growth in art.”
Alexander and Mila are excited about all of the musical opportunities awaiting them at Warwick Valley Middle School. 
“Mila and Alexander have such bright and wonderful futures ahead of them,” said Ms. Blaikner. “Not just in music, but in all aspects of their life. I have truly treasured working with and getting to know them through their gift of music this year.”



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