Music ensembles gain recognition at NYSSMA Major Festival

Ana Espinoza, Assistant News Editor

The Concert Band, Symphonic Band, and Symphonic Orchestra recently had the chance to perform for NYSSMA adjudicators. During the week of May 21, the ensembles traveled to Hofstra University to receive evaluation at the NYSSMA Major Organization Festival.

Each ensemble played three pieces, but did not have to play scales or sightread as is required for individual NYSSMA evaluations. Adjudicators included a retired high school music teacher and several college music professors. The adjudicators recorded their evaluations into microphones and on paper, and also offered advice for improvement. The judges continued to record constructive criticism after the conclusions of the pieces.

“It was slightly distracting to hear the judges talking into their microphones during the entire piece,” said junior Eleanor Kim, who is a member of the Concert Band. “I found myself listening to what the judges were saying while I was playing.”

The Symphonic Band, directed by Mr. John Meyer, was the first non-audition ensemble from Schreiber to take part in the NYSSMA Major Organization Festival, and the group began to prepare for its evaluation in September.

The Concert Band and Symphony Orchestra performed level six pieces during school hours on May 22 and May 23, respectively. The Symphonic Band received silver, while both the Concert Band and the Symphonic Orchestra received gold.

“A lot of the music students take part in NYSSMA on their own,” said Mr. Meyer. “This is the band going as a whole group for an evaluation. All the students can be recognized by their talents, and we work to accomplish that.”

The ensembles had an opportunity to hear comments from professionals other than their teachers.

“I believe it’s a great opportunity for students to hear someone else’s opinion, especially an opinion provided by a trained professional,” said orchestra director Mr. Anthony Pinelli.