By Lin Xie
Every year, students from all over New York participate in the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) exam that is normally held late April. The students spend months practicing and preparing a piece that they will play in front of a judge at the festival. There are levels that range from 1-6. The students will receive a score out of 28 if they are playing level 1-4, or a score out of 100 if they are playing level 5 or 6. Students that played a band or orchestral instrument or auditioned for vocals can apply for Area All-State. Area All-State ensembles are where students from all over the county come together and perform. The different ensembles include a symphony orchestra, string orchestra, band, mixed chorus, and women’s chorus. This year, the students had rehearsals on October 22 and November 5 from 4-9pm and on November 6 from 9am-3pm with the concert on the same night.
Briarcliff sent almost thirty people to Area All-State this year, with representatives of each ensemble attending. This number has been very consistent throughout the years.
“I am very proud of the number of people that we can send every year. Briarcliff is a small school compared to the other schools that participate and to get consistent number like this to go every year is amazing,” said Mrs. Ostrofsky, the orchestra teacher at Briarcliff High School.
Being able to participate in the ensemble gives the students an opportunity to work together with other students from different schools. The pieces that they play are harder and at a higher difficulty level compared to the pieces that are performed at school. The students can also experience following new conductors and learning more about playing in an ensemble.