On Tuesday, March 17, 2016 May 17, all three Roslyn chorus groups attended the New York State School Music Association’s annual festival at Hofstra University
The Roslyn Singers, Roslyn High School Chorus and Roslyn High School Chamber singers all performed and competed in this all day event. This year, each group placed in their levels.
The Roslyn Singers, the first level of chorus for freshman at RHS was awarded the bronze metal and the Roslyn High School Chorus, the second level of chorus and Chamber Singers, the highest and more exclusive chorus were both awarded silver.
Throughout the year, the students have prepared immensely.
The Roslyn Singers and Roslyn High School chorus both meet for a full period during the school day. Chamber Singers, an audition-only group for students already in another music class meets Tuesday and Friday afternoons after 9th period as a 10th period class. All three classes provide full class credit towards transcripts and are graded.
“We studied how to properly sing and we learned about classical music,” freshman Rachel Starkov explained. Starkov is currently in Roslyn Singers as well as Chamber.
Their dedication and hard work didn’t end right before they went in to be judged either.
“We had a quick warm up before we went in,” said sophomore Caroline Auranno, who is currently in Roslyn High School Chorus.
Besides in-class preparation, the groups put in even more time and effort weeks before they got off the bus.
“We prepared for NYSSMA by optimizing our two-day-a-week rehearsal time [in Chamber], staying focused, and doing our best to perfect each piece before preforming in front of the judges,” sophomore Kelly Frank added. Frank is currently in Chamber Singers, Roslyn High School Chorus as well as Wind Ensemble.
Since they only meet twice a week, in chamber, it is crucial that they make every minute count.
“It takes an immense amount of dedication to do well at NYSSMA festivals considering our minimal rehearsal schedule,” she continued.
Besides the medal, there are multiple values from attending and competing in the annual festival. Students see how they improve year after year, receive professional feedback and are taught expert performing.
“The benefit are getting some feedback and knowing where you stand performance wise, like what you need to improve and work on for next time,” Auranno said.
Frank sees it as an extremely gratifying event she looks forward to year after year.
“It’s a rewarding experience that teaches young musicians how to perform in a professional environment, and the feedback you receive is given by trained musicians and can help you improve your skills drastically,” she said.
For those who wish to peruse music in the future, there is a lot to learn from going.
“It benefits me from learning about what I can do better in singing since I want to pursue this as a career,” Starkov added. “NYSSMA is a way to help promote teamwork and cooperation, it brings us closes together with music.”
According to Dosomething.org, “children who study a music are more likely to excel in all of their studies, work better in teams, have enhanced critical thinking skills, stay in school, and pursue further education.”
That being said, outside of competing, chorus and music as a whole has a huge importance in schools and students’ educational and professional careers. It is a different way of expression, and takes a break from traditional schoolwork given most of the day.
“Music is sort of like taking a breather from all of the studying and hand-cramping work we have to do,” Auranno said. “You use your brain differently when you make music, whether it’s singing or playing an instrument you have to read music and make a sound come out at the same time.”
Additionally, Musicforall.org states students that are involved with music, like chorus tend to score an average of 107 points higher on standardize testing such as the SATs and ACTs than those who do not.
The organization also says that 95 percent of Americans see music as an essential element a high school education, and RHS students’ beliefs are no expectation.
“I love music, and I hope to make a career out of it one day, Aruanno said. “It’s an outlet for those who are more creative and expressive, rather than just sitting in a desk all day taking notes and figuring out equations. Making music is still working, just in a different way.”