Seventeen Huntington School District musicians have been selected to perform in this winter’s Long Island String Festival during elite concerts in Smithtown and Setauket.
Among the festival musicians are Woodhull Intermediate School fifth graders Charlotte Gordon and Ava Tizzio and sixth graders Charlie Siepel and Lily Tierney; Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School fifth grader Brooke Parks and sixth graders Miranda Bellissimo and Alanna Kohut; J. Taylor Finley Middle School eighth graders Jackson Dunn, Ethan Mcguinness, Ella Siepel and Grace Wildermuth; Huntington High School freshman Kyle Perea, sophomores Hannah Bailin and Arielle Harvey, junior Christopher Chang and seniors William Garfinkel and Zechariah Perea.
The Huntington musicians are among Long Island’s best. They were chosen for the festival based on their New York State School Music Association solo evaluation scores and teacher recommendations.
“Coming off the many successes of student musicians at regional and state festivals, we celebrate the wonderful achievements of our district’s orchestra students,” said Eric Reynolds, Huntington’s director of fine and performing arts. “LISFA is a highly competitive festival whose focus is strictly string pedagogy and performance. Our Huntington musicians will have the experience of playing alongside some of Suffolk County’s finest string players and will spend a weekend working with outstanding orchestra conductors and teachers. The young men and women of the LISFA groups will receive a tremendous amount of string-specific performance techniques culminating in a specialized string orchestra concert.”
The musicians have been studying with Huntington music teachers Christina Bhasin, Claude Masear, Matthew Gelfer and Nicole Castaldo.
The Long Island String Festival Association began in 1956, gathering students from across Long Island into three orchestras. Today, LISFA hosts festivals in both Nassau and Suffolk counties. The organization also awards many scholarships to support students’ musical study through their school years and beyond.
“The success of LISFA lies in the strength of the string teachers on Long Island, their talented students, the parents who support their musical development and the quality of the conductors who together celebrate the power of music,” according to the organization’s website.
The fifth grade orchestra will perform on Saturday, January 14 at 2 p.m. at Smithtown West High School. The grades 6-8 orchestra will be on stage on Sunday, January 15 at 1 pm. at Smithtown West. The high school orchestra concert is set for Sunday, January 29 at Ward Melville.
Huntington’s 17-member strong contingent is bigger than that of most districts.