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Ann Arbor high school orchestra named 'Grand Champions' of National Orchestra Festival

A student-run and conductorless 20 piece orchestra from Ann Arbor's Pioneer High School was named Grand Champion of the 2013 National Orchestra Festival in Rhode Island.

The group started just this year.

They were one of 60 student orchestras to audition for the 2013 National Orchestra Festival, and one of 15 to be invited to Rhode Island for last weekend's competition.

Pioneer's Chamber Orchestra won first place in the string division and was named Grand Champion of the entire event.

Danielle Arndt wrote about their accomplishment inAnn Arbor.com today.

"Conductorless chamber orchestras like ours are few and far between in the professional world and even more so in the student world," said Pioneer senior violinist Giancarlo Latta. "I've heard a lot of conductorless orchestras perform and they've always really blown me away. The way the music is brought to life by this unified group of musicians that doesn't have a conductor leading them, it's really inspiring and energizing."

Here's the Pioneer Chamber Orchestra performing "Serenade for Strings."


- Chris Zollars, Michigan Radio Newsroom