Ending the Year on a High Note

18 Jan 2018
ByKathleen Hayes, Fieldston Middle and Upper Music Teacher

Every year, approximately 430 singers are selected to participate in the New York State School Music Association's All-State Music Festival, in Rochester, New York. Over the course of four days in December, 280 juniors and seniors from all over New York gather to rehearse and sing within the SATB (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass) mixed choir, and 150 women sing within the SSAA (soprano and alto) ensemble, culminating with a performance at the Eastman School of Music's Kodak Hall.

Nationally recognized conductors are chosen to lead each of the ensembles, uniting the immense talent within each group. To be selected to perform in the All-State Festival is an honor, as approximately 2,500 singers from across New York State audition to participate. Fieldston students audition for the festival in June at New York University, with a solo and required sight-reading. The women, in particular, have to achieve a perfect score to even be considered, due to the sheer number of them auditioning.

This year, Fieldston was superbly represented at the festival by two young singers. Senior Samantha Ratner and junior Emma Sanchez both performed in the mixed SATB choir, under the direction of Dr. David Fryling of Hofstra University. Ratner especially enjoyed "the opportunity to create music at a high level alongside singers who share my passion for music." Sanchez remarked, "I really got to understand I belonged to something bigger when I was singing in a beautiful theater with more than 200 voices. Everyone was as passionate about singing as I was, and I felt a sense of empowerment knowing that out of so many people, I was chosen for this great experience."

Congratulations to Samantha Ratner and Emma Sanchez on their wonderful achievement and participation in the All-State Music Festival.