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Four Tarrytown Students Showcase Their Musicianship in NYSSMA Winter Conference 

From December 2nd through 5th, four Sleepy Hollow High School students participated in the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Winter Conference in Rochester, New York. NYSSMA is the premier music education program in New York and regularly hosts performances by and competitions featuring some of the best young musicians in the state, making this a particularly noteworthy achievement for our students. They were accompanied by SHMHS Choral Instructor Gail Persad and SHHS Band Director and Music Production teacher Austin Day.

The students participated in several different music categories. Jaden Velez performed in the chorus with singers from other schools across the state, while Sam Leviatin played trumpet in the jazz band. The other two students, Austin Chin and Luciano Lopez-Parnetti, participated in the Electronic Music Composition Showcase, a category that was introduced in 1998. The showcase featured an original electronic composition from each of the student composers, and Austin delivered a presentation about his piece and the meaning behind it (Luciano was unable to attend in person, but remarks about his piece were delivered on his behalf).

“Seeing our students perform was truly a refreshing and inspiring experience,” said Mr. Day. “The level of musicianship on display throughout the weekend was incredible, and I am very proud of all of our students.”

Reflecting on the atmosphere and performances, Ms. Persad added: “The jazz ensemble and the mixed chorus performances were stunning! The mixed chorus conductor was incredible and was able to have students connect vocally and expressively to the music. You could hear a pin drop when they performed.”

The students involved echoed their teachers’ excitement.

“This was such an incredible opportunity!” said Jaden, a SHHS senior. “Working with other singers from all over New York state was an honor and an amazing learning experience. I would like to thank Mrs. Persad for helping me through the process of getting into this ensemble—it would not have been possible without her. I encourage other singers to audition and become part of the NYSSMA organization."

Everyone from Sleepy Hollow High School and the district as a whole is incredibly proud of Jaden, Sam, Austin and Luciano for performing at such a high level, and we are excited to see where they go next as musicians. We thank Ms. Persad, Mr. Day and Mr. Sprague for their ongoing support.