Senior invited to All-National Symphony Orchestra Honor Ensemble

Fiona Petrie recognized for skill in violin audition


Used with permission from Fiona Petrie.

Elena Ortiz-Fishman

Due to her dedication towards practicing the violin, senior Fiona Petrie said her efforts paid off. For the second time in a row, she has been awarded a high achievement for playing the violin. After being accepted to All-State orchestra for her hard work, Petrie then applied for All-Nationals.

“I auditioned for Minnesota All-State orchestra, and I was accepted to that. Because of that, I was eligible to apply for the All-National,” Petrie said. “I applied for that, and they accepted my audition, and I got it. I did a lot of practicing this summer. That was one of the main things that I did, and it was it was a lot of work. But it was very rewarding, because events like these are so much fun.”

Orchestra teacher Kou Lee said Petrie deserved the award for her talent and dedication.

“It’s a representation of her being one of the top players in Minnesota and in the nation. It’s a group of high school players combined together, basically, it’s an opportunity for them to perform with a guest conductor,” Lee said. “She’s a very hard worker, she’s played for a long time and she’s very skillful.” 

According to Petrie, with the help of her peers, teachers and parents she reached where she wanted to be — now, she is eligible to work personally with a conductor along with many other musicians to fine tune her skill. 

“I feel really, really proud, because I worked really hard to do this and my teachers supported me and my parents supported me. Everyone was very helpful (in) getting me to the place where I needed to be to be able to do this,” Petrie said. “I’m very pleased that they liked my music — it’s really exciting that all my hard work for 13 years has paid off to be able to do this.”

Fellow orchestra student and senior Renee McSherry said Petrie has also had a large contribution to Park’s orchestra. 

“I strongly persuaded her to join the school orchestra, because she had been doing violin before — I mean, she’s amazing,” McSherry said. “She’s just been a great leader helping, she’s been concertmaster, basically like the person that stands up to tune everyone.”

Due to safety precautions surrounding COVID-19, the event has to be virtual. Despite this, Petrie said the community feel remains intact through the use of virtual meetings, instead of merely submitting videos. 

“I’m sort of sad that I don’t get to go and spend time with a bunch of other musicians who love what they do. But, I’m glad that we still get to do something with people online, and that isn’t just recording a video and sending it in,” Petrie said. “There’s some sort of community aspect that’s still going to be kept for that.”

Lee said since Petrie was the only student who auditioned and got into All-State and All-Nationals this year, he wants to advocate more for students to audition in the future, since the orchestra is still fairly new. 

“She just came to me with all those skills, and she’s been playing for a long time. All I did was I just encouraged her to audition for All-State,” Lee said. “She’s the first one from the school to get accepted, and that was last year. This year, it’s also just her who got accepted — she was the only one who auditioned.”

Honored to be given this opportunity again, Petrie said she hopes to continue pursuing music. 

“In the future, I hope to continue music, I’m actually looking at music for colleges. Whenever I get to go to events like these, I just have the time of my life and I hope I can continue to find something where I get to play violin with other people,” Petrie said. “I don’t know if that will be what I do for a career, but I’m looking forward to being able to do more things like this — I’m glad that I get to do this again because it’s just the greatest experience.”