Schreiber performing ensembles participate in NYSSMA Majors

Sameer Nanda, Staff Writer

Select members of Schreiber’s symphonic band and orchestra program attended the annual NYSSMA Majors festival.  The students played a variety of songs before a group of judges at Hofstra University on May 21.

“I appreciate how New York State provides an opportunity for students to improve their musical ability in their instrument,” said junior Bomin Choi.   “I think it’s something we should all take advantage of.  I know a lot of kids get nervous for NYSSMA, and I think that preparing for it will help students gradually build their confidence.”

The music department has three major categories, band, orchestra and choir. These are subsequently sub-divided into different skill levels.  Led by Mr. Anthony Pinelli and Mr. John Meyer, the string and symphonic orchestra and the symphonic band prepared for the festival.

Music students battled temperatures in the mid 80s and found themselves sweating from the pressure.

“With this being my first time at Majors,” said senior and Symphonic band member Liam Marsigliano, “I was a little nervous when we went to Hofstra.  I wasn’t sure how the panel was going to judge us.  Nonetheless, I was excited to perform in my first band ensemble.  Also, it was great to stay in the cool building instead of staying outside.”

Considering the large group of students that was expected to perform at the festival, Schreiber had arranged several buses to pick up students and their instruments from each music class.  Although the symphonic band and orchestra arrived without any complications, the string orchestra missed the event due to complications regarding the bus service.

“The bus for our orchestra didn’t come until three o’clock and because that was when we were supposed to be playing, Mr. Pinelli told us that there was no point in coming and he had to let the judges know about our problem.  I was really disappointed that we didn’t get to go because we worked hard on all of the pieces,” said junior Rachel Ettlinger.

“The experience as a whole demonstrates our ability to overcome all types of complications—which was the case with the heat and the confusion in regards to transportation—and to be able to join together and just play some music,” said junior and symphonic orchestra member Annie Kim.

Both ensembles that were able to attend the festival achieved high honors.

“Once we finished performing, I was relieved by how they took our performance and the high score they gave us.  I was really proud of the band because I think we’ve come a long way since last year, improving our tone and volume, as Mr. Meyer has told us we needed to work on before,” said Marsigliano.  “And I know that soon after I graduate, the band will be able to achieve this goal and I will be proud to have been a part of it.  By participating in the symphonic band, I feel that I have grown as a musician through my four years in high school.

“Each year, we have a completely different orchestra, we lose some of our seniors and gain some new members,” said Kim.  “And with this change comes a vastly different dynamic, where each individual brings something unique to the orchestra and each year, we learn to adapt and make everything work out—sharing our experiences and the opportunity to make music.”