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Skaneateles hosts NYSSMA with joy

Skaneateles orchestra students head down the hallway toward the auditorium for their performance in front of judges.

Skaneateles orchestra students head down the hallway toward the auditorium for their performance in front of judges.

The already bustling music wing of Skaneateles High School was overflowing with energy, excitement and sounds of music for three days last week.

From Tuesday through Thursday (May 2), some 1,500 music students in grades six through twelve from all over Central New York warmed up in the music rooms before their turn on stage.

For the third year in a row, Skaneateles hosted the New York State School Music Association Major Ensembles Festival. Groups ranged in size from 12 to 108; districts small (Southern Cayuga) and large (Liverpool) attended. In total, 30 different music groups performed.

By the numbers

10 choral groups

20 instrumental groups

30 total groups

1500 students

SCSD groups participating:

Middle School (7/8) Chorus – Silver

High School Concert Band – Silver

High School Jazz Band – Silver

Middle School Jazz Band – Silver

High School Orchestra – Gold

“It was an honor for us to be able to host this event for the third consecutive year,” said Skaneateles band teacher Dave Wilber, who coordinated the event. “If the schedule works out and we get administrative support we would like to host again next year.”

Wilber, who is retiring, loves the event so much he plans to come out of retirement to help or to chair the festival again. “Even though I’m retiring I’m trying to find ways to stay involved as much as people want me to be. I will still be the Executive Director of New York State Band Directors Association (NYSBDA) and the Secretary of OCMEA. One of my true passions has been to host events like NYSSMA.”

Volunteer coordinator Susanne Guske said Wilber “has been key to getting this festival started here” and praised him for “being willing to take on the considerable time and energy it takes to organize it. We owe him so much!”

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