This past weekend, seven Manhasset juniors and seniors took a 6-hour bus ride to Rochester, NY to participate in the NYSSMA All-State Conference. Each year, thousands of students state-wide audition to be selected, but only 900 are accepted for the various music groups. In the spring, sophomores and juniors go through a rigorous audition process, until those with the utmost qualifications are chosen. The 7 Manhasset students rehearsed with their respective groups on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and they performed on either Saturday or Sunday. With long days of practice, the experience ultimately culminated in one amazing performance at the Eastman School of Music.
A typical day at All-State consisted of breakfast, rehearsal, lunch, rehearsal, dinner, rehearsal, sleep… Evidently, the conference is extremely intense, but also very memorable and nourishing. Every group is led by a professional musician with years of experience, and they shed their wisdom and knowledge with the passionate youth. Though the performances are spectacular, kids take away more from the rehearsals with their guest conductors and advisors than from the stage. Not only do they learn from the adults, but second-time all-state members and new juniors learn from each other and their unique backgrounds.
On Saturday, Dec. 1, the Instrumental Jazz, Vocal Jazz, Wind Ensemble, String Orchestra, and Treble Chorus performed, and on Sunday, Dec. 2, the Mixed Chorus, Symphonic Band, and Symphony Orchestra. Manhasset had nearly one student in each performing, representing the school for yet another year. After a long weekend of performing, the musicians will be preparing for the All-County Conference in January.