Student Features

PA Cyber students fiddle around at Gobbler's Knob

Feb 2, 2018

Sisters showcase their musical chops

Four PA Cyber students and sisters took to the stage with noted country-western music performer Slim Forsythe to perform his song, “The Ballad of Punxsutawney Phil,” for a crowd of Groundhog Day revelers at Gobbler’s Knob.

Arnold-Mages sisters Emily, 12th-grader, Camille, ninth-grader, Josephine, third-grader and Lillian, second-grader – who collectively form the band Queen of the West – entertained the crowd gathered for the annual event with their award-winning talent.  

The classically trained violinists and nationally competitive fiddlers each lay claim to several titles and awards. On Groundhog Day Eve, they performed with Forsythe on CBS affiliate KDKA-TV’s “Pittsburgh Today Live,” giving viewers a sneak peek of what the Gobbler’s Knob audience would hear today and helping to create a little Punxsutawney Phil fever.  

The girls’ mom, Tarissa Arnold-Mages, said PA Cyber, because of its flexibility, has allowed her daughters to take lessons and  practice and prepare for recitals without having to sacrifice. “PA Cyber has definitely enabled all the girls to pursue their interests,” she said.

Emily is the Maryland State Adult Fiddle Champion. Camille is the Pennsylvania State Fiddle Champion and placed second at the 15-and-under Maryland State Championship. Josephine placed second at the Twin Lakes National Fiddle Championship in Kentucky and 10th at the National Championships 8-and-under division when she was 5-years-old.  Lillian is the Twin Lakes Fiddle Champion, placed second in the 12-and-under division at the Pennsylvania State Fiddle Championships,  and came in first at both the Idaho Open Fiddle Championships and the Colorado Fiddle Championships, and, at age 7, placed second at the National Fiddle Championships in the 8-and-under division. Lillian is the current National Fiddle Champion in the 8-and-under division. They are collectively the current first- and second-place fiddlers in the junior (12-and-uUnder) and teen divisions of the Pennsylvania State Fiddle Championships.

Their dad, Michael Arnold-Mages, practices with them and plays back-up guitar at some of their performances and competitions. The family resides in Pittsburgh.

The Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, commonly called PA Cyber, is one of the largest, most experienced and most successful online public charter schools in the nation and encourages its unique student body to explore passions like the ones the Arnold-Mages sisters are pursuing.

“They are a testimony to the success of our educational model that allows for 24/7 learning opportunities,” Brian Hayden, PA Cyber CEO, said. “We are so proud of them.”

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About PA Cyber

Serving students in kindergarten through 12th grade, the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School (PA Cyber) is one of the largest, most experienced, and most successful online public schools in the nation. PA Cyber's online learning environments, personalized instructional methods, and choices of curricula connect Pennsylvania students and their families with state-certified and highly-qualified teachers, and rich academic content that is aligned to state standards. Founded in 2000, PA Cyber is headquartered in Midland (Beaver County) and maintains a network of support offices throughout the state. As a public school, PA Cyber is open for enrollment by any school-age child residing in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and does not charge tuition to students or families.