Four Midlakes High School students have been recognized by the New York State School Music Association for outstanding solo performances, each invited to perform in various concerts later this year.
One of the students — Senior Devon VanNostrand — scored a perfect 100 on a Level VI solo at the spring solo festival, and has been invited to play with the top student musicians in the state during NYSSMA’s Winter Conference from Nov. 29 to Dec. 2, at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center and the historic Eastman Theatre.
“My dream is to be in a band, going around the world and playing for thousands of people a day,” said VanNostrand, who started playing the piano at four years old and later added euphonium, trombone, guitar, and classical percussion to his repertoire.
He also takes a variety of engineering and computer-assisted design and related courses through the Wayne-Finger Lakes BOCES at the Finger Lakes Technical and Career Center in Stanley.
Juniors Erik Dillon and Isabella Tufano were selected to perform with the Area All-State Choir after they both scored 97 on separate vocal solos. Dillon has been singing since fourth grade and is involved in theatre, vocal jazz and Masterminds.
“I love to sing,” Dillon said. “I enjoy music as a pastime.”
Tufano joined the chorus in third grade and is involved in several extracurricular activities including vocal jazz. She also serves as a student representative with the Mary Hicks Preston Foundation.
“I do it just for the pure pleasure of doing it,” said Tufano of singing. “It’s just an activity that’s always around, no matter where you are. You can sing a capella in the shower.”
Freshman Jennifer Petracchi was selected to Area All-State for junior high. She plays the clarinet, oboe, alto saxophone, piano, and the ukulele. Petracchi is a member of the jazz band, chorus, tennis team, and plans to join theatre.
“It brings me joy,” she said of her love for music. “I love showing my spirit and supporting the school.”
Each student credited their music teachers: vocal instructor Amy Conner and band instructor Jim Trowbridge for helping them grow as musicians.
"My first year with him, he was a huge help,” said Van Nostrand. “He gave me advice that I have never really gotten before. It was from a completely different perspective because he plays himself. I took that to heart.”