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Albany High musicians are golden

ALBANY, N.Y. (April 17, 2018) -- The Albany High School Wind Ensemble on Monday earned the highest rating for its performance at the New York State School Music Association’s Major Ensemble Festival.


Under the direction of teacher John Halvorsen, the group earned a gold rating for its Level VI program. Performances are graded as "bronze," "silver" and "gold" and on a scale of I to VI, with VI being the most difficult.


They performed “Marche Des Parachutistes Belges” (March of the Belgian Paratroopers) by Pierre Leemans (arranged by Charles Wiley); “A Movement for Rosa” by Mark Camphouse; and “Symphonic Suite” by Clifton Williams.


“I can say without a shadow of a doubt that they performed with every bit of musical energy they had ever been given from the beginning of their studies up until this very moment. They performed better than I ever could have when I was in high school and owned every bit of the music,” Halvorsen said.


The festival was held at Shaker High School. Congratulations to all! Wind Ensemble members include:

  • Robert Ackerman, percussion

  • Elias Anderson, percussion

  • Ivory Anderson, baritone sax

  • Richard Andrews, percussion

  • Matthew Baker, French horn

  • Sarah Bearden, flute

  • Logan Bennett, trumpet

  • Coran Cabuhat, tuba

  • Mary Cabuhat, percussion/piano

  • Cole Churchill, trombone

  • Reeve Churchill, French horn

  • David Dimase, alto sax

  • Sofia Fasullo, clarinet

  • Matthew Flynn, oboe

  • Ryan Ginnan, clarinet

  • Aejay Adrian Gonzales, tenor sax

  • Graham Gordon, trombone

  • Shafiyq Grady, percussion

  • Cleis Hahn, trumpet

  • Aine Haugh, piccolo

  • Regan Hunt, French Horn

  • Caleb John, tuba

  • Venla Johnson, trumpet

  • Anna Kennedy, flute

  • Olivia Lopez, clarinet

  • Neil MacLeod-Mercardo, clarinet

  • Julie Mahoney, percussion

  • Emma Marlay-Wright, flute

  • Santino Martinelli, clarinet

  • Ryann Murray, flute

  • John Nocus, clarinet

  • Michael O’Neil, trombone

  • Elizabeth O’Toole, flute

  • Faith O’Toole, trumpet

  • Thomas Ottaway, clarinet

  • Themba Pieterse, trumpet

  • Daniel Pollydore, bassoon

  • Robert Quaye, trombone

  • Bethany Quist, trumpet

  • Emma Russell, trumpet/euphonium

  • Toussaint Santicola Jones, alto sax

  • Abigail Scheuermann, baritone sax

  • Fiona Streznewski, trombone

  • Elli Sol Strich, French horn

  • Mara Strich, flute

  • Casey Su-Morrill, flute

  • Sophie Terwilliger, flute

  • Tia Thomas, percussion

  • Nihara Walker-Johnson, bass clarinet

  • Samuel Weinstein, percussion

  • Dabar Zarzuela, trumpet


The mission of the City School District of Albany is to work in partnership with our diverse community to engage every learner in a robust educational program designed to provide the knowledge and skills necessary for success. The district serves more 9,600 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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