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Long IslandEducation

LI student musicians perform in prestigious national ensembles

Four Syosset High School students were selected to

Four Syosset High School students were selected to perform in the National Association for Music Education's 2016 All-National Honor Ensembles. From left, Syosset music teacher Kristin Howell, students Ben Rhee, Cameron Zandieh, Dylan Eliassof and Vivian Lin, music teacher John Cullen, and Coordinator of Fine and Performing Arts Michael Salzman. Credit: Syosset School District

Thirty-five Long Island student musicians were among 675 nationwide to perform in one of four prestigious national ensembles last month.

The National Association for Music Education selected the students based on audition videos submitted during the last school year for one of four 2016 All-National Honor Ensembles: mixed choir, symphony orchestra, concert band and jazz ensemble. Performances took place in Grapevine, Texas, Nov. 10-13.

Jordan Lerner, a senior at Paul D. Schreiber High School in Port Washington, was the only baritone saxophone player to perform in the jazz ensemble.

“I am thankful to have met other high school students that share my passion for jazz music and its history,” Lerner said.

Others selected and their high schools were: Michaela Barnett and Daelynn Jorif, Baldwin; Olivia Ingrassia, Bayport-Blue Point; Keana Lee, Bethpage; Kevin Jacobsen and Michael Stevens, East Islip; Arun Sam, East Meadow; Elizabeth Arnold, Eastport-South Manor; Abigail Grote and Giovanni Maraboli, Farmingdale; Zachary Lee, Great Neck North; Noah Harouche, Great Neck South; Adarsh Rajeev and Danielle Stauber, Half Hollow Hills East; Hannah Bartfield, Harborfields; Jason Eras, Lawrence; Camryn Buonamassa, Frank Sacino and Luciana Vernola, all of Massapequa; Dorothy Burns, Newfield; Sam Howell, Max Kuster and Madison Weiser, all of Plainview-Old Bethpage; Jamie Baio, Sayville; Rohin McIntosh, Shoreham-Wading River; Jillian Coscio, St. Anthony’s; Dylan Eliassof, Vivian Lin, Ben Rhee and Cameron Zandieh, all of Syosset; Michelle Hromin, W. Tresper Clarke; Dan Hirsch, Wantagh; Benjamin Shea, Ward Melville; and Nicole Rinaudo-Concessi, West Babylon.


KidWind Challenge winners

Ghordyn Russell, Norrin Santizo-Hancock and Corrinthea Washington of Lawrence Middle School placed first out of 16 student teams in the KidWind Challenge, held at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City. The competition challenged teams to design and create working turbines and make a presentation on wind energy.

The winning team, “Easy Breezee,” experimented with different materials, sizes and angles to create the blades of their turbines, school officials said. They worked on the projects in class and spent extra hours after school conducting trials and preparing presentation boards.


Buddy benches

Several Nassau County schools have held ribbon-cutting ceremonies in recent months to unveil playground “buddy benches,” which are designed to be used by students seeking someone with whom to play during recess and to promote friendship and kindness.

In Massapequa, three elementary schools — East Lake, Lockhart and Unqua — installed “Koda” benches constructed by technology students at the district’s high school, similar to buddy benches and featuring inspirational symbols and sayings. Koda is a Native American word for “friend” or “companion.”

Other schools that recently added buddy benches include Old Mill Road Elementary in North Merrick and Lido Elementary in Long Beach, with the latter provided by an anonymous donor.


All-State musicians

Long Island schools had 329 student musicians selected to perform in one of eight All-State ensembles at the New York State School Music Association’s 2016 Winter Conference, which took place in Rochester on Dec. 1-4.

That was more than one-third of the 900 students chosen statewide.

The performing ensembles included instrumental jazz, vocal jazz, wind ensemble, string orchestra, women’s chorus, symphony orchestra, symphonic band and chorus. The event included professional development opportunities for music educators, performances by several school ensembles, and two keynote speakers from the National Association for Music Education.

To be considered, high school students competed last spring at dozens of audition sites statewide and received perfect or near-perfect scores.

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