Schreiber musicians take part in Long Island String Festival

Long Island String Festival Association supports young musicians


Orchestra students play various instruments as they perform during the Long Island String Festival.

Asher Charno, Contributing Writer

On Nov. 18, the Long Island String Festival Association (LISFA) hosted their Nassau County Secondary Concert.  This music festival is a prestigious event where selected students are able to showcase their orchestral talents.  The secondary LISFA selection is also the most competitive Long Island ensemble for string players. 

This year, three student musicians from Schreiber were selected for LISFA.

“The string festival is very hard to get into.  Playing in any group ensemble helps a musician improve,” said freshman cellist Bram Franchetti.  

In the beginning, there were only three string orchestras for all of Long Island.  Since then, the LISFA has grown significantly.  

In 1963, Nassau and Suffolk each held their own festival.  As the music program became more popular over the years, it became necessary to adjust the organization of the competition.  

LISFA is only for students who play string instruments, which include violin, viola, cello, and bass.

“When kids get to play in the LISFA concert they get to play with other students and it gives them a new experience which could help them improve musically,” said freshman violinist Daniel Greilsheimer, who is also a former participant in the All-County orchestra group.

 The selected students for this year are bassist Emma Minado, violinist Tiffany Guo, and violinist Daniel Chen.

Students are selected to perform in the LISFA ensembles based on teacher nominations and their prior year’s New York State School Music Association adjudication scores. 

Each teacher may submit one application for every LISFA orchestra within the grade levels that they teach.  This performance happens only twice a year: once in Nassau County during November and the other for Suffolk County sometime during the year.

“The three musicians going are some of the best players I have ever taught,” said music department teacher Mr. Anthony Pinelli. 

This year, the conductor for juniors and seniors is American composer, conductor, and musician Ms. Soon Hee Newbold. She has a Bachelor of Music degree from James Madison University, where her focus was on film scoring, orchestration, and audio production. 

When Ms. Newbold graduated, she began working in the entertainment business for Walt Disney World as a contractor, stage manager, and professional musician.  She also performed in the various symphonies in Florida. 

Ms. Newbold has produced several albums and wrote for many recording projects and ensembles.  As a professional musician in various orchestras throughout the world, Ms. Newbold has played in venues like Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Disney World, and Aspen. She has also performed in countries like Scotland, England, South Korea, Taiwan, and Japan.

This year, the conductor for freshmen and sophomores is Dr. Yvette Devereaux. Dr. Devereaux has conducted the studio orchestras for the many soundtracks, including ones in Tyler Perry’s films Madea’s Family Reunion and Diary of a Mad Black Woman.

As musical director, conductor, arranger, and violinist, Dr. Devereaux’s experiences include popular TV and award shows, including The Voice and American Idol.

In 1995 and 1998, Dr. Devereaux appeared as the conductor for the Los Angeles Philharmonic Orchestra at Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.  She was also an assistant conductor for the Minnesota Symphony and the director and conductor for the Seattle Philharmonic Orchestra. 

Dr. Devereaux was the first woman to hold the position of Music Director and Conductor of the Southeast Community Symphony in Los Angeles. 

The faculty and student body of Schreiber are proud of the dedicated students who were chosen to perform this year at LISFA as these festivals are extremely competitive and difficult to get into.

“LISFA is a wonderful opportunity for young orchestral students to engage with other students from different schools, as well as interact with accomplished conductors and professional musicians. It’s awesome that our school is representing three students this year,” said junior Sally Hirschwerk.