High School Chorus Performing

The New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) aims to increase and support music education for all students in New York State. They work diligently to provide musical opportunities to students, some of those opportunities being their annual Music Festivals in the spring. These concerts provide students the chance to showcase their skills and hard work, as well as the improvements they have made within the last year.  

“We are so thrilled that in-person NYSSMA Festivals have returned this year,” said K-12 Art and Music Curriculum Content Specialist and High School Choral Director Michelle McLoughlin. “Our students have worked so hard to prepare for NYSSMA and we are so proud of what they have been able to accomplish.”  

Students have and will be performing in a number of festivals with NYSSMA this spring. Here is some information about each festival: 

NYSSMA Major Organization Festival: The High School Band attended NYSSMA Majors in early April. They prepared three Level IV pieces that highlighted their range and skills, and gave a beautiful performance. They are judged against a rubric and were awarded Silver! Congratulations to Mr. Dobson and all of the students on their impressive accomplishment!

NYSSMA Solo and Ensemble Festival: We had 50 students attend the NYSSMA Solo and Ensemble Festival at Schalmont High School, ranging in grades from 5 to 12. Students prepared music at various levels of difficulty across the NYSSMA rating system from I-VI. The vast majority of our students received top ratings, (Excellent and Outstanding scores at levels I-IV and 90 and above for levels V and VI) including several perfect scores at levels I-IV and A+ (97-100) scores at levels V and VI.  Special recognition goes to sophomore Alivia Ortiz, who earned a perfect score of 100 on her Level VI All-State vocal solo, which is the level rated of greatest difficulty.

Congratulations to all of the students who participated! Keep up the great work! Those students are: 


Emma Banahan, soprano
Kendall Bullock, soprano
Caileigh Burnham, soprano
Chloe Canham, soprano
Nicholas Cifone, bass
Stephanie Diaz, soprano
Molly Engelhardt, alto
Lauren Gimondo, soprano
Jenna Grogan, soprano
Maryn Glassbrenner, soprano
Jamie Mantor, soprano 
Kofi Opoku-Aning, bass
Alivia Ortiz, alto
Elizabeth Robertson, alto
Hannah Ryan, soprano
Tyler Schwabrow, bass
Abigail St. John, alto
Justin Swann, bass
Paul Truncale, bass
Aurora Wagner, soprano


Franchesca Batista, clarinet
Caileigh Burnhan, clarinet
Aiden Boehme, trumpet
Ian Brisco, clarinet
Sydney Campbell, alto saxophone
Ava Conlon, alto saxophone 
Silas Dubois, trumpet
Makenzie Eggleston, flute
Ryan Giangreco, clarinet
Matthew Ginder, alto saxophone 
Lilianna Hotaling, flute
Ryan Kieffer, trumpet
Allison Leonard, flute
Harry Lindmark, snare drum
Addison Lochner, alto saxophone
Lucy Martorana, clarinet
Ryan Martorana, clarinet
Maximillian May, alto saxophone
Jamie Moon, flute
Maksim Moya, baritone
Maeve Newkirk, Trombone 
Alivia Ortiz, tenor saxophone
John Robertson, baritone
Samuel Robertson, trumpet
Owen Smith, alto saxophone 
Abigail St. John, flute
Justin Swann, snare drum
Piper Weddell, clarinet 
Stella Weddell, clarinet
Violet Wichmann, trombone

NYSSMA Piano Festival: We had two students attend the Piano Festival in early March this year. They did an outstanding job! Congratulations to Ryan Giangreco and Abigail St. John! 

NYSSMA Jazz Festival: Last but certainly not least, Harry Lindmark, drum set, will be performing at the Jazz Festival in early May. Good luck, Harry! 

High School Chorus Clinic: Although the Chorus was not able to attend NYSSMA Majors this year, they still worked hard to master a Level VI NYSSMA program. They received assistance from Dr. Michael Lister, who is currently a choral, vocal, and musical theatre professor at UAlbany, and was the former Music Department Chair and professor at St. Rose. He worked with the students on this challenging program, providing guidance and insight to improve their skills. The students then performed their program in the auditorium during the school day for teachers and peers. Great job, everyone! 

Big congratulations to all of the students! We are incredibly proud of their performances. The students demonstrated their talents, discipline, hard work, and commitment to their craft. We are so grateful to have them represent RCS!