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Back to Communications Home
Albany High ensembles sparkle at NYSSMA Majors

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 18, 2019) -- Bravo!


Three Albany High School musical ensembles earned outstanding ratings Monday – two golds and a silver -- at the New York School Music Association’s Major Ensemble Festival.


The Wind Ensemble and Chamber Choir each captured a gold rating, and the Advanced Orchestra earned a silver.  

At major ensemble festivals, music teachers bring exceptional ensembles to perform music at one of six levels of difficulty. Level 6 is the hardest. Performances are graded as "bronze," "silver" and "gold," with a gold rating going to performers who demonstrate outstanding technical and artistic skill.


The Wind Ensemble, under the direction of John Halvorsen, performed Level 6 selections that included “The Liberty Bell” by John Philip Sousa, “Canzona” by Peter Mennin and “Carmina Burana” by Carl Orff. 


The Chamber Choir, under the direction of Brendan Hoffman, performed Level 6 selections that included “Ave Maria” by Anton Bruckner, “There Was a Time” by Eric William Barnum and “Earth Song” by Frank Ticheli. It was the Chamber Choir’s first time attending a Majors Festival.


The Advanced Orchestra, under the direction of Kelly Diehl, performed Level 5 selections that included “The Texians” by Carold Nunez, “Egmont Overture” by Ludwig van Beethoven and “Symphony #25, Movement 1” by Wolfgang Mozart.


Monday’s Advanced Orchestra performance marked the first time in more than 20 years that an Albany High orchestra took part in a Majors Festival. Monday also was the first time Chamber Choir performed in a Majors Festival.


Scroll down for lists of students in each ensemble.


Wind Ensemble

Elias Anderson

Venla Johnson

Themba Pieterse

Matthew Baker

Naya Kennedy

Daniel Pollydore

Nyla Barrow

Noah Levine

Sasha Post-Lais

Sarah Bearden

Olivia Lopez

Brynn Russell

Kariana Boston

Luca Maltese

Emma Russell

Henry Bourgeois

Emma Marlay-Wright

Toussaint Santicola Jones

Goran Cabuhat

Santino Martinelli

Felix Streznewski

Mary Cabuhat

Karen Meyers

Elli Sol Strich

Cole Churchill

Katrina Morrow

Casey Su-Morrill

Aengus Gillespie

Ryan Murray

Kendra Taylor-Skervin

Aerick Gonzales

Liv Nevo

Tia Thomas

Graham Gordon

John Nocus

Nihara Walker-Johnson

Ella Hallgren

Allison O'Connor

Delia Weinstein

Aine Haugh

Sean O'Neil

Samuel Weinstein

Caleb John

Molly O'Toole

Themba Pieterse


Chamber Choir

Caroline Berry

Jason Lawson

Maia Russell

Samuel Bromirski

Nancy Lundberg

Carly Ryan

Alanna Carmello

Htoo Hay Ma

Aviva Schwartz

Joann Consuello

Mark Leigh Manantan

Kelsey Simonian

Paul Criscione

Eniyah Mathews

Jennifer Uzhca

Journey Fowler

Carlos Morocho

Samuel Weinstein

Lee-Ashia Green

Katrina Morrow

April White

Amina Hassy

John Nocus

Peter Wiley

Emannuel James

Briola Nugent

Donnetria Williams

Janiah Johnson

Akyra Payne

Clark Zafran

Esmeralda Jones

Lee Reh

Emi Ziko


Advanced Orchestra

Nina Avallone-Serra

Paris Lyons

Onovu Otitigbe-Dangerfield

Chrysolyte Baun

Cheyenne McCain

Claire Patnaude

Erika Bopp

Kelsey McGinn

Say Lay Paw

Vivian Buckner

Zoe Meyers

Rachael Prosper

Kamela Cenko

Olivia Minarich

Nanki Richardson

DainaMarie Cleveland

Brogan Monroe

Jerome Robinson

Amelia Colafati

Mimi Morse

EhBlue Say

Ingrid Colafati

Maura Mulholland

Trishia Faye Serrano

Alexandra Hershey

Tessa Nagel

Sarah Tierney

Ella Hubbell

Isabel O'Brien

Gloria Tucker

Jean Keefe

Xinia Okoren



The mission of the City School District of Albany is to educate and prepare all students for college and career, citizenship and life, in partnership with our diverse community. The district serves approximately 9,400 students in 18 elementary, middle and high schools. In addition to neighborhood schools, the district includes several magnet schools and programs, as well as other innovative academic opportunities for students, including four themed academies at Albany High School.

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