RCS musicians hit the high notes at NYSSMA festivals

Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk students prepared musical performances at various levels of difficulty, I-VI, for multiple New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) festivals. This includes 24 10th and 11th grade students who performed at the highest All State Level. The vast majority of RCS students received top ratings – Excellent and Outstanding scores at levels I-IV and 90 and above for levels V and VI. Several musicians received perfect scores at levels I-IV and A+ (97-100) scores at levels V and VI.

Four of our performing ensembles also attended the NYSSMA Major Organization Festivals. The 7th and 8th grade band, directed by Kermit Wamsley, kicked off the festival performances. They attended the Shaker High School Festival, performing at a Level II and earned a rating of Silver.

"selfie" of band students smiling at camera
High school band members grab a selfie with band director John Fatuzzo

The high school band, directed by John Fatuzzo, also performed at Shaker High School where they performed at a Level IV. For the second year in a row, the group earned a rating of Gold with Distinction, which is the highest rating a group can receive.

large group of students sit in classroom and smile at camera
High school chorus celebrates their Gold

The high school chorus, directed by Michelle McLoughlin, performed at Niskayuna High School. They performed at a Level VI, which is the most difficult level at which a group can perform, and earned a rating of Gold.

chorus standing in front of a stage
7th and 8th grade chorus warming up for their performance

Nathaniel Wardlaw directed the 7th and 8th grade chorus at Niskayuna High School performing at a Level II. The group earned a Bronze rating.

After students participate in one more festival on May 18, nearly 140 RCS students from grades 5-12 will have participated in the NYSSMA Piano Festival and Solo and Ensemble Festivals in both Classical Music and Jazz. Many of those students also performed or will perform multiple solos at each of the festivals.

“We are so proud of the music department students and teachers for their tremendous accomplishments at the NYSSMA Solo and Ensemble and Major Organization Festivals,” McLoughlin said. “We are also looking forward to great upcoming performances at the NYSSMA Festival at Shenendehowa HS for our remaining performers, including students performing instrumental and vocal jazz solos.”