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Way to Go! Sophia Stehlik of West Islip

Sophia Stehlik, a fifth-grader at Paul J. Bellew

Sophia Stehlik, a fifth-grader at Paul J. Bellew Elementary School in West Islip, with Principal Rhonda Pratt, left, music teachers Laura Hill-Primiano and Victoria Kavitt, and Director of Art and Music Education Eric Albinder. Photo Credit: Sophia Stehlik, a fifth-grader at Paul J. Bellew Elementary School in West Islip, with Principal Rhonda Pratt, left, music teachers Laura Hill-Primiano and Victoria Kavitt, and Director of Art and Music Education Eric Albinder.

A West Islip fifth-grader with a passion for writing music has had one of her compositions featured at a statewide conference for the second consecutive year.

The four-minute percussion piece by Sophia Stehlik, titled “Avalanche,” was performed live by six high school students at the 18th annual Young Composers Honors Concert, held earlier this month during the New York State School Music Association’s 2016 Winter Conference in Rochester.

Sophia, who attends Paul J. Bellew Elementary School, was among about a dozen students whose work was selected.

“It was so awesome; I loved it,” Sophia, 10, said of seeing the performance. “I tried to make it sound like the drums were talking to each other.”

Sophia received a similar honor at last year’s NYSSMA conference, when her piece, “The Circus Train,” was played during the 20th annual Electronic Music Composition Showcase. She was the youngest student ever to have her work featured in the showcase.

Sophia said she’s written five pieces in her spare time and uses Finale software to assist in her recording efforts. Another of her compositions, “Modern Percussion,” will be performed by Bellew’s percussion ensemble sometime this school year.

In addition to playing drums, Sophia plays keyboard and piano. She also studies dance and is on a travel soccer team.

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