MILL HALL – This year the 2017 Keystone Strings Festival took place at Central Mountain Middle School on Friday, Jan. 20 at 7 p.m. The conductor for this year’s festival was Melissa Becker, who is part of the music faculty at Lock Haven University. Close to 130 middle school musicians played their string instruments on the stage in the middle school auditorium. The students ranged from seventh to ninth grade. Participants played violins, violas, cellos, and basses. Students from 11 middle schools prepared together throughout the school day on Friday, playing the songs they have been practicing at their own schools for the past 3 months. The schools involved in this year’s festival included Hollidaysburg, Divine Mercy, Central Mountain, Bishop McCort, Bellefonte, Altoona, Mount Nittany, Park Forest, Richland, Somerset, and Windber.