Jessica Palko and Cody Knight advance to the All State Musical Festival in Hershey

Jessica Palko
Cody Knight

Senior Jessica Palko and junior Cody Knight have advanced to the All State Music Festival in Hershey which is a huge accomplishment for both of them. For Jessica it is her first time ever auditioning and for Cody it is his second year in a row making it to the Festival. The music festival will be held in Hershey from March 26 through the 29.

Jessica became interested in auditioning for the festival because of her teacher, Mr. Piergrossi. Going into the regional festival, she was ranked first in the region, and after her audition for states, she ended up being ranked fifth to move on to the state festival. Jessica never could have imagined even making it as far as she has because it is only her first time auditioning for the festivals. The audition process this year was different than in previous years due to the weather. It had to be done online, since the regional festival was canceled.

Jessica only realized that she had this talent recently, and even said, “I wish I would have figured out back in ninth grade that I have this talent, so I could have been a part of this all throughout high school.” She enjoys the festivals and singing because she gets to meet other people from other schools that enjoy the same thing as she. Her favorite part is getting to the festival and putting all of the music pieces together. “It is amazing to hear it all together,” Jessica said.

Cody Knight also has made it to the state festival in Hershey. His auditions were done the same way as Jessica’s online. He has been selected as the All State piano player for the wind ensemble. Cody has been playing the piano for ten years and also plays the violin for the past seven years. Last year he also made it to the state festival, but was ranked second whereas this year he was ranked fourth. This meant that he would not be playing for the chorus which he only ever has played for and instead would be playing for a different group.


When Cody found out that he had been chosen for the tournament he said, “Initially I was disappointed because I was only ranked fourth when last year I was ranked second, but after the initial disappointment wore off, I was kind of excited because I get to play the piano for something other than the chorus at states because that is all I have played for, so now I get to play and experience something new.”

Mr. Piergrossi said that “Making an All-State Music Ensemble is a great accomplishment for any high school student. Students who make these ensembles are hard workers and talented musicians. Cody and Jessica deserved to make the All State ensembles, and I am very proud of their accomplishment. All of their hard work and practice has paid off for them.” Congratulations to Jessica and Cody on their accomplishments!