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Four Sleepy Hollow High School Seniors Recognized by the New York State School Music Association

The Public Schools of the Tarrytowns congratulate Jaden Velez and Samuel Leviatin for being selected to perform in the New York State School Music Association’s (NYSSMA) All-State Ensembles, as well as Austin Chin and Luciano Lopez-Parnetti for having their original compositions selected to be performed at this year’s NYSSMA Electronic Music Showcase. The four SHHS seniors will travel to the NYSSMA Winter Conference in Rochester in early December for the performances and showcase. 

Jaden and Sam will represent Sleepy Hollow in the ensembles with 600 of the best 11th and 12th grade musicians from around New York State. Jaden and Sam, who were selected for Mixed Chorus and the Jazz Band, respectively, were chosen based on their outstanding scores at last spring’s NYSSMA solo festival.  Eighty-six students in grades 1-12 participated in the solo festival which was held virtually.  Students recorded solo performances that were reviewed remotely by NYSSMA adjudicators. Scores at the festival make them eligible for honor’s ensembles around the region.

Luciano, who is a captain of the SHHS Pep Band, said that he loves to explore different genres of music but that Spanish music, which celebrates his Argentiain heritage, is his passion. “Music is so important in my life and I love the opportunity to create music,” he said. 

“Being selected to perform at the All-State festival is a great honor and recognition of these students’ hard work, which we are fortunate enough to see during performances at our school,” said Micah Sprague. “Going to the NYSSMA solo festival allows students in our district to be surrounded by their peers who share a similar fervor for music and to receive feedback on their musical growth as they continue to hone their skills.”  

The Electronic Music Showcase compositions are selected from a large pool of works submitted by students from across New York state, grades 9-12 . All submitted compositions are evaluated by a panel of adjudicators and the most outstanding are selected to be presented as part of the NYSSMA All-State Conference. This is Luciano’s first time having a work selected, and the second year in a row in which one of Austin’s compositions will be featured.

Sam’s band directors at Sleepy Hollow are Austin Day and Micah Sprague. Jaden’s choral director at Sleepy Hollow is Gail Persad. Jaden was accompanied at the festival by district accompanist Scott Treibitz. Austin and Luciano’s entries were sponsored by Austin Day, Music Technology teacher at Sleepy Hollow High School.

The mission of the New York State School Music Association is to advance music education across New York State for its membership and students in member school programs.