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Honors for 6 Whitman musicians
With the beginning of a new school year, the South Huntington Schools’ music program, considered one of the preeminent programs in Long Island, is delighted to announce that six Walt Whitman students have been recognized for their accomplishments in the following performances, and will be performing at the New York State School Music Association’s (NYSSMA’s) Winter Conference in Rochester, NY, in early December: Taweh Beysolow – Symphonic Band, Soraya Karkari – Women’s Chorus, Kelsey Mc Guire – Mixed Chorus, Justine Park – String Orchestra, Emily Vassallo – Mixed Chorus, and James Walsh – Mixed Chorus.The following students were named conference alternates: Kara Cook, Jordan Schuman, and Rebecca Witt. “I’ve dedicated my whole life to music,” said all-state cellist Justine Park. “Music is my first passion. It’s what I love to do.” Classmate Soraya Karkari agrees, adding, “It’s great to be able to do what you love and be recognized for it.” Kelsey McGuire noted, “I focused hard and worked hard for this prestigious honor, and I’m excited to be a part of it.” For Taweh Beysolow it was about recognition for all the time and hard work. “I’ve devoted a lot of time to my music, and there are a lot of things you miss because of the commitment needed at this level. So it’s great to be recognized for it.” James Walsh, who stole the show as the Cowardly Lion in last year’s Wizard of Oz performance, credited his teachers, noting, “I’m happy to represent Whitman in this way, and I want to thank all my music teachers along the way, because it couldn’t have happened without them.” In the photo above, Walt Whitman’s award winning NYSSMA students, their teachers and principal, share a light moment before returning to the riggers of their academic day. Left to right: Rebecca Witt; Coral Director Judy Leopold; Justine Park; Orchestra Director Frank Yolango; Jordan Schuman; Soraya Karkari; Band Director Alan Dietz; Kelsey McGuire; Emily Vassallo; Taweh Beysolow; Kara Cook; James Walsh; and Whitman Principal James Polansky. Steve Bartholomew handles public relations for the South Huntington school district.