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Diana Traietta, founder of the orchestra in 2013, accepts new job at Excelcia Music Publishing in Florida.

In 2013, a need was identified in Fauquier County for an after-school youth orchestra program. That was when music educator and violinist Diana Traietta founded the Fauquier County Youth Orchestra, which provides quality music education and performing experiences to students in the Fauquier County vicinity. In 2016, the organization received its nonprofit status.

Traietta, who holds a bachelor’s degree in music education from Marywood University, created a vigorous orchestra program for approximately 60 students each year at Fauquier County Youth Orchestra. Over the years, Traietta volunteered her time as both executive director and as one of the instructors. The orchestra performs locally and participates in competitions -- including in New York. The program continues to expand. In addition to beginning, intermediate, and advanced orchestra students, there is also a jazz band.

Just like in music, tempos change in life and Traietta has accepted a new position as director of sales and marketing at Excelcia Music Publishing in Lakeland, Florida. Her last day with the orchestra will be Saturday, June 8, when it performs at the Gloria Faye Dingus Music Alliance, located at 92 Main Street in Warrenton.

The concert is another example of Traietta’s level of excellence in creating opportunities for the students. Grammy award-winning violinist Mark Wood will be performing, and the orchestra will join in for some of the musical pieces. The concert is from 7 to 9 p.m. and tickets are $10. For more information, contact Traietta at 540-717-9349 or

This will be the orchestra’s second year of working with Mark Wood. With much excitement, Traietta says, “Come join Mark and the members of the Fauquier County Youth Orchestra and Jazz band for an evening of your favorite classic rock music! The concert will feature Mr. Wood’s original material, as well as his arrangements of music by Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and others.”

Tara Planeta has been named the new executive director of the orchestra and began the new position on May 1. Planeta has been working with Traietta during the final transition period. Planeta earned her master’s degree in violin performance with orchestral emphasis, from Arizona State University and has begun doctoral studies in educational leadership. She has studied Suzuki and traditional pedagogy with renowned pedagogues.

Planeta also sees the value of the Mark Wood Concert. “It is fabulous to give these students this opportunity to learn and perform these great classic rock hits with a concert artist such as Mark Wood!  It opens a door to a more contemporary world of music performance, which just rounds out the Mozart, Bach and Beethoven.”

Regarding the executive director position, Planeta exclaims, 'It is truly an honor to join the FYO family! I am looking forward to meeting and working with everyone, making great music, and continuing the legacy of engaging students with these wonderful opportunities in live performing.”

“I am extremely proud of the program we built over the past six years and extremely proud of each one of the kids that I have had the honor to work with. Hope I am leaving Virginia a bit more musical! Here's to a sustainable program in Fauquier, amazing friends I have made and can’t wait to see where FYO goes next under a new director,” said a smiling Traietta.

The Fauquier County Youth Orchestra and Jazz Band is located at 102 Main Street in Warrenton. For more information visit, email, or call 540-717-9349.

“The Arts Lady” monthly column highlights local arts. Smyers holds a master’s degree in arts management from George Mason University and teaches in the program. She is an actress, consultant, and co-executive director of Fauquier Community Theatre. Reach her at 800-754-4507 or

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