East Syracuse Ten Pine Grove students participated in the fourth annual New York State Chapter of the American Choral Directors Association Middle School Honors Choir on Aug. 19. The students performed under the direction of Francisco Núñez, a highly sought-after conductor/composer.
Students singing were Kat Abrams, Mary Kate Deeb, Kelsey Hall, Martin Campbell, Conor Harrigan, Helaina Brundage, Summer Cardarelli, Katie Lindsley, Anson Cheng and Zackary Worden.
“The rehearsal was demanding, but rewarding when it finally closed with a wonderful performance. The way the music sounded when the students came together was incredible,” said Kelsey Hall.
“He took the ordinary chorus songs to a new level and I personally had a phenomenal time,” said Kat Abrams.
“Mr. Núñez was a great conductor that taught us many new techniques while making it fun for us at the same time,” said Katie Lindsley.
“I walked away from there feeling more confident in myself and I felt like it was a gift. What we all brought in there was more that just our voices — it was us — our souls, our minds, our courage and our spirit. Mr. Francisco Núñez was fantastic. He made me feel important and made me strive to get the sound we needed,” said Helaina Brundage.
The performance was the opening concert to kickoff the New York State School Music Association Summer Music Conference in Albany. Núñez is a conductor, composer, pianist and founder of the Young People's Chorus of New York City.
“His composition, conducting and rehearsal skills engaged the choir and brought them to a whole new level of performance,” said Pine Grove choral teacher Aimee deBerjeois. “He focused on higher level musicality and trying to get middle school students to be free and expressive, and immerse themselves in the diverse musical styles of the music they were performing through challenging literature and performance techniques.