Musician receives national honors

Photo by Tom Steiner for The Citizen”

By TOM STEINER
Being named the top student trombonist in Pennsylvania last year was quite an honor for Lukas Helsel, but the Avonworth junior did not stop there.Over Thanksgiving break, Lukas traveled to the National Association for Music Education's All-National Orchestra at Disney's Coronado Spring Resort in Orlando.
After last year's state achievement, he had submitted a video audition and was among six trombonists accepted into the orchestra and 14 into the concert band.
At the conclusion of the Orlando event, he was named first-chair trombonist of the orchestra, an honor that translates into his being the number-one student trombonist in the nation.
For the concert, the orchestra played Tchaikovsky's “Romeo and Juliet Overture,” Bernstein's “Candide,” and “Temptations” by Daniel Dimarino.

“Unfortunately, there were no trombone solos,” Lukas said.

No specific future plans as of yet, but he is rather certain of the direction he hopes to follow.

“After high school, I would like to go to school for either music performance or music education, depending what kind of colleges I get into. I plan to continue working hard and see where it leads me.”

Lukas, 16, the son of Jay and Beate Helsel of Ohio Township, is in his eighth year of playing trombone.

Avonworth band director Will Guess said of Lukas, “He is an outstanding musician who has accomplished so much more than any student I have ever taught. I look forward to seeing him grow as a musician. He will be a great colleague to know.