Six Byram Hills High School students recently learned they would be performing in upcoming national and state concerts.
Senior Max Levy earned a spot in the 2013 All-National Honor Chorus sponsored by the National Association for Music Education. Five other students were chosen to perform with All-State ensembles organized by the New York State School Music Association: Eden Gordon, Thomas Kelly and William Benish, who were selected for the Mixed Chorus; Nicole Weisner, who will sing in the Women’s Chorus; and Zachary Berro, who will play clarinet in the Symphonic Band. Berro was also selected as an Alternate for the Alto Saxophone. All are seniors except for Gordon, who is a junior.
“We take great pride in our musical ensembles here at Byram Hills High School,” Principal Chris Borsari said in a press release submitted on behalf of the school district. “It’s always gratifying to see outside adjudicators be as impressed with our students’ musical talents as we are.”
The students sing and play in a variety of high school music groups – including Choir, Jazz Choir, Jazz Band and Wind Symphony. They have sampled the school’s varied music offerings, taking courses ranging from Guitar Workshop to AP Music Theory, depending on their interests. What unites them is a love of music and performing, whether that means belting out a song in the school musical or singing the National Anthem at a home basketball game.
“We have so much fun showing everyone what we’ve worked on,” Gordon said.
Levy will join more than 670 highly skilled musical students at an Oct. 30 concert in Nashville featuring a concert band, symphony orchestra, mixed chorus, and jazz ensemble playing under the direction of prominent conductors. He will perform with a mixed chorus of 350 vocalists. All of the students selected had already qualified for their state-level honor ensemble program and then competed against top students for a spot in the national honor ensembles.
The all-state musicians will play in concerts in December at the Eastman Theatre in Rochester. The students were selected based on their performances at the NYSSMA solo and ensemble festivals held throughout the state last year.
Joy Varley, director of Fine Arts at Byram Hills, said that she was proud that six Byram Hills students were selected from a pool composed of many talented applicants.
“They all devote so much time to their passion for music,” she said. “We’re excited that they will have this opportunity.”
The students all said they welcomed the chance to learn the challenging music linked to the honor ensembles – and to sing and play with other students on the state and national level.
Zach Berro, Max Levy, Eden Gordon, Tom Kelly, Nicole Weisner and Will Benish earned spots in honor music ensembles.