hs orchestra

In a major accomplishment for the high school orchestra program, the New Rochelle High School Symphonic Orchestra earned a Gold Rating at the New York State School Music Association Major Organization Evaluation Festival on May 22.  

The 28-member orchestra performed “St. Paul's Suite”and “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” at the festival which was held at Walter Panas High School and featured only outstanding quality ensembles from throughout New York State. NYSSMA Major Organization Festivals are opportunities for music teachers to bring an exceptional ensemble (band, chorus, orchestra, or jazz) to perform for two specially trained adjudicators.

It’s been 25 years since the New Rochelle High School orchestra earned a gold level ranking. 

 “All the students are incredibly dedicated to making music and really gave it their all. I am incredibly proud of what they accomplished,” said Claire Stancarone, who teaches the Huguenot Orchestra, Symphonic Orchestra and PAVE Strings. “The students worked really hard and prepared for many months. We had to push to the very end and dig deep to continually make it better before the competition,” she said, adding that the students recorded themselves to better analyze their performance and made changes.

“In a way I think NYSSMA Majors really brought our orchestra together as we knew we all shared the same goal,” said concertmaster, senior Ari Barrios. “It made us push ourselves to become better and it pushed me to be the best concertmaster I could. But in the end, our hard work definitely paid off, and I couldn’t have asked for a better performance from our orchestra.”

“NYSSMA Majors was an experience unlike any other in my time as a violinist,” said junior Brianna Young. “We had to be open to new ideas and had to consistently practice. I think that winning gold at Majors has given us a boost in our confidence and the push we need to continue performing and improving together as an orchestra, while making us better musicians overall.”