South Colonie Musicians perform at Suburban Council Music Festival

String orchestra on stage with their instruments up- ready to play. The conductor stands facing the students, her arms are up- baton in hand, ready to signal to the students to begin.
The Suburban Council high school orchestra rehearsing on stage at Columbia High School.

Twenty-five South Colonie music students performed at the Suburban Council Music Festival held at Columbia High School on January 12 and 13. The South Colonie music program is honored to have so many students participating in this year’s music festival!
Over 300 students, grades 6-12, from Albany, Averill Park, Ballston Spa, Bethlehem, East Greenbush, Guilderland, Mohonasen, Niskayuna, North Colonie, Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk, Saratoga Springs, Schenectady, Scotia-Glenville, Shenendehowa, and South Colonie were selected to participate based on NYSSMA scores, musical audition, and recommendations from their music teachers.
After two days of rehearsals, the students presented a concert under the direction of esteemed guest conductors.  The program included a high school band, high school orchestra, middle school chorus and middle school jazz band. 
Performing with the band were Jenna Bernard (percussion), Emily Murray (flute), Aiden Potka (tuba), Sammy Rhode (percussion), and Olivia Tsyn (tuba).  Captain Richard Viglucci, DMA, Associate Conductor of the United States Army Band, was their guest conductor.
Helen Cha-Pyo, Artistic Director and Principal Conductor of the Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts in New Jersey, directed the orchestra, which included Ceyda Cetin (violin), Hei Cheng (violin), Emily Donohue (cello), James Fuller (string bass), Laura Kita (violin), Nguyet-Vien Le (violin), Grace Manuyag (viola), Ryan Staley (violin), and Mukundan Thanigaivelan (violin).  Several South Colonie students were seated in principal chair positions after seating auditions!
The middle school chorus included Johanna Baker (alto), Gabriel Fetter (alto), Abigail Fiadjoe (alto), Mikelle Geronimo (alto), Shauna Mayhew (soprano), Isaiah Montijo (baritone), Gabriel Rizzo (baritone), Justin Small (baritone), Erika Snyder (alto), and Luca Wilson (baritone).  The choir was led by Dr, Minji Kim, Assistant Professor of Music and choir director at Gordon College, Wenham, MA.
Ellington McCoy played lead trombone with the middle school jazz band, under the direction of Ray Sturge, retired music educator from the Syracuse area.