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What does NYSSMA mean?

Many of our student musicians perform in the New York State School music Association (NYSSMA) Solo and ensemble festival. Students may play more than one instrument (or voice) an ensemble. If a student performs as a soloist, he/she must prepare scales form memory, a solo form the official NYSSMA manual, and must sight-read eight measures of music. Students will perform this before an official NYSSMA adjudicator. The resultant ratings for levels I-IV are O for (outstanding), E (excellent), G (good), F (fair) and levels V-VI a letter grade will be determined by an overall performance score. Each student will receive his or her own adjudication sheet that explains the grade. Students that perform in an ensemble (duets, trios, etc.) will only perform the selected piece. Students who perform at the top three levels can receive a medal for their efforts. 

Why should students perform at NYSSMA?

The student’s written evaluation provides positive, constructive criticism on the student’s performance, written by an adjudicator who specializes on the student’s particular instrument. The adjudication sheet will then be copied by our music department and used to assist in nominating students for possible participation in All-County, All-State, and All-Eastern groups. 

What is All-County, All-State, All-Eastern?


LISFA, (Long Island String Festival Association), and NMEA (Nassau Music Educator’s Association) are county music organizations that offer students the opportunity to perform with students from other districts in the annual All- County concert festivals throughout Nassau County. The students are selected from nomination lists submitted by music teachers for consideration to perform in annual concerts. All fifth through twelfth grade students are eligible for nomination to their categorical division. This honor group rehearses for three days and performs a concert. Although performing at NYSSMA is not a requirement for All-County nominations, participation is highly recommended. 

Students in their sophomore and junior year are eligible to perform at NYSSMA All State. Students must perform a level VI solo (the highest level) and must be accompanied by a pianist. Students with very high marks are nominated and possibly selected to participate in an All-State performing ensemble. This All-State festival is after thanksgiving vacation and lasts three days. 

Students that participate in NYSSMA All-State are then nominated to participate in the Bi-Annual MENC All Eastern Honors groups. This is one of the highest honors a music student can achieve.

Students may be selected to perform in the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) Honor Ensembles which represent the top performing high school musicians in the United States. This is the highest honor a music student can achieve. 

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