A dozen Huntington School District musicians have been tapped to perform in this winter’s Long Island String Festival during elite concerts in Hauppauge and West Islip.
Among the festival musicians are Woodhull Intermediate School fifth graders Grayson Dunn (violin II) and Grace Oliva (cello) and sixth grader Nina Fascilla (cello); Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School fifth grader Mia Johnson (violin II) and sixth grader Liva Camarata (violin II) J. Taylor Finley Middle School eighth grader Charles Siepel (cello); Huntington High School freshmen Allison Quinn (violin I) and Erin Ye (cello), sophomores Ella Siepel (viola) and Grace Wildermuth (bass) and juniors Keenan Lyons (violin I) and Kyle Perea (bass).
“The musical talent in Huntington knows no boundaries,” Superintendent James W. Polansky said. “We are excited to have many of our talented string instrumentalists performing in this January’s prestigious LISFA festival. They will surely contribute to a series of phenomenal performances.”
The Huntington musicians are among Long Island’s best. They were chosen for the festival based on their New York State School Music Association solo evaluation scores and teacher recommendations.
The musicians have been studying with Huntington music teachers Christina Bhasin, Claude Masear, Matthew Gelfer and Nicole Castaldo.
“The LISFA festival is truly one-of-a-kind,” said Eric Reynolds, Huntington UFSD’s director of fine and performing arts. “The focus is strictly on string orchestra pedagogy and performance and this festival brings together the very top orchestral players across the county and Long Island. Each year the Huntington School District maintains a high number of participants, which point to the strong instruction found in the lesson and rehearsal rooms. Our students are given the opportunity to study with the country’s pre-eminent conductors, composers and music teachers during the festival. We congratulate all of the string students and the entire string faculty of Huntington.”
The Long Island String Festival Association began in 1956, gathering students from across Long Island into three orchestras. Today, LISFA hosts festivals in both Nassau and Suffolk counties. The organization also awards many scholarships to support students’ musical study through their school years and beyond.
“The success of LISFA lies in the strength of the string teachers on Long Island, their talented students, the parents who support their musical development and the quality of the conductors who together celebrate the power of music,” according to the organization’s website.
The sixth grade orchestra will perform on Saturday, January 26 at 2 p.m. at Hauppauge High School. The fifth, seventh and eighth grade orchestras will take the stage on Sunday, January 27 at 1 pm. at Hauppauge High School. The high school orchestra concert is set for Sunday, January 13 at 1 p.m. at St. John the Baptist High School in West Islip.