Huntington High School's All-State music contingent will perform at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

Huntington Musicians Capture All-State Honors

Huntington High School's All-State music contingent will perform at Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre

September 6, 2019

Nine Huntington High School students have been selected to participate in the 2019 New York State School Music Association conference scheduled for December 5-8 in Rochester. The selections put Huntington among the elite music programs in the state.

Kyle Perea (double bass) and Grace Wildermuth (double bass) were picked for the All-State string orchestra. Eliana Ng (flute), Nathan Musso (trumpet) and Michael Reed (trumpet) all captured spots in the All-State wind ensemble. Katherine Eichenberger (alto 2), Keenan Lyons (tenor 1), Abigail Semelsberger (soprano 1) and Chloe Buffone (soprano 1) were named to the All-State mixed chorus.

“I’m thrilled to be named as a tenor 1 in the mixed chorus at this year’s NYSSMA All-State conference,” Mr. Lyons said. “All these years of hard work and vocal training, both within the district as well as personal pursuits, have given me this wonderful opportunity. It is a testament to the quality of music education here at Huntington to have so many fabulous musicians attending.”

All-State alternates include Joshua Avidor (tenor 1), Emerson Forbes (snare drum), Eliana Ng (piccolo) and Nicholas Danseglio (flute). Huntington music teachers Victoria Garbarino, Matthew Gelfer and Jason Giachetti has been selected to present professional development workshops at the state conference.

“Huntington musicians continue to reach new heights,” Superintendent James W. Polansky said. “Such a talented bunch that has truly earned the statewide recognition. Another great year is in store for Huntington arts programs.”

Huntington’s All-State contingent with perform at the New York State School Music Association’s conference at the Eastman Theatre in Rochester.

“We are extremely proud and privileged that the New York State School Music Association has recognized what we, in Huntington, already know; that we have some of the most talented students and staff anywhere in this state and beyond,” said Eric Reynolds, Huntington UFSD’s director of fine and performing arts. “I would like to personally congratulate the nine student musicians, four alternate members and three faculty presenters for being selected to participate as part of the NYSSMA All-State Conference. I would also like to offer my gratitude, on behalf of all music staff, to the administration, board of education, district families and community members for placing great value on music education and the musical, educational and social experiences provided to the students through music.”

The selection process began last spring when thousands of sophomores and juniors auditioned at nearly four dozen sites spread across 15 regional geographic areas and continued into the summer with an analysis of application and performance materials.

“I am so incredibly thrilled to be going back to all state this year,” Ms. Semelsberger said. “I am so thankful to be a part of a district that values music and has allowed me the opportunities that have helped me develop into the musician I am today.”

This year’s state conference in Rochester will be jammed packed with activities. About 900 juniors and seniors from across the state will perform in eight ensembles and professional development related to music education will be offered to approximately 1,200 attendees.

The All-State festival includes only the very top musicians from across the entire state. Participation requires a perfect or near perfect score on a Level VI NYSSMA solo. Judges compile a proficiency list of competing students at each NYSSMA festival around the state each spring. The top students on the proficiency list are then invited to attend the state conference. The competition is so intense that some students with perfect scores are not selected.

“This year, Huntington will be represented by one of the largest contingents in the district’s history,” Mr. Reynolds said. “Congratulations to our students on their extraordinary achievements. And, a sincere thank you to our music faculty, K-12, for sharing their talents, passion and dedication for music performance and pedagogy.”

This will mark NYSSMA’s 84th winter conference in its long history. The first such conference was held in Ithaca in February 1934 in temperatures that dropped to 30 degrees below zero.  

Huntington senior Abby Semelsberger earned All-State music honors.
Huntington senior Abby Semelsberger earned All-State music honors.
Huntington senior Keenan Lyons captured All-State music honors
Huntington senior Keenan Lyons captured All-State music honors