High school students participate in NYSSMA Winter Festival

Monroe-Woodbury students participated in the 84th annual NYSSMA Winter Festival from December 5 through December 8.

The Festival consisted of various different musical acts, including a band, full orchestra, and solos. Each group performed about 3 pieces and took about 40 to 45 minutes each.

According to their website, the goal of NYSSMA is to spread musical education all across the state of New York. Around 5,000 students are members of the NYSSMA and 100,000 students usually participate in the festival during the spring.

According to the NYSSMA website, “Each year in late August approximately 900 students are notified that they are selected to participate in the NYSSMA Conference All-State music groups.”

The event took place in the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center in New York and was hosted by Jennifer Minehan. According to the website, the eight groups were directed by renowned guest conductors and perform on one of three concerts in the Eastman (Rochester) Theater.

NYSSMA sponsors approximately 145 solo and small ensemble and major ensemble festivals in New York State each spring. At solo and small ensemble festivals, students are given a performance evaluation that involves playing a graded solo from the NYSSMA Manual, playing scales and sight reading. At major ensemble festivals, school bands, choruses and orchestras are evaluated.

NYSSMA festivals other than All-State are evaluations, not competitions. Students may compete with themselves from year to year, but NYSSMA does not view festivals as competitive.