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Setting a gold standard

Students return from NYSSMA with high marks

The busy New York State School Music Association season has nearly wrapped up for the music students at Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk and according to music teacher Michelle McLoughlin, it has been a great success.

This Spring, 114 RCS students from grades 5-12 have or will have participated in the New York State School Music Association’s Piano Festival and Solo and Ensemble Festivals. Several students prepared two or three solos on different instruments, an instrument and voice, or two instruments and voice.

Students prepared music at various levels of difficulty across the NYSSMA rating system from I-VI. This includes 18, tenth and eleventh grade students who performed at the highest All State level. The majority of students have already performed and received top ratings.

“We are especially thrilled that RCS junior Cameron Shackelton earned a perfect score of 100 on his All State solo on tuba,” McLoughlin said.

Four performing ensembles also attended the NYSSMA Major Organization Festivals. The high school band, directed by John Fatuzzo, kicked things off on April 11 at Shaker High School, where the band performed at a Level IV and earned a rating of “gold.”

The high school chorus, directed by McLoughlin, performed the following day on April 12 at Niskayuna High School. They performed at a Level VI and also earned a rating of “gold.”

Another “gold” performance was earned by the seventh and eighth grade chorus directed by Lesley Lopez. They performed at Niskayuna on April 13 at a Level II.

Finally, on April 27, the seventh and eighth grade band, directed by Kermit Wamsley, attended the Ballston Spa High School Festival, performing at a Level II and received another “gold” marking.

“We are so proud of the music department students and teachers for their tremendous accomplishments at the NYSSMA Solo and Major Organization and Festivals,” McLoughlin said.