Webutuck choral group gets top rating at state music festival

WEBUTUCK — After working hard throughout the school year, the Webutuck High School chorus performed in front of two judges at the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Majors Festival and received a gold rating, the highest rating available.This was the choral group’s third consecutive year competing at NYSSMA.After receiving a bronze rating during last year’s festival, the group, led by Choral Director Lee Stowe, practiced and drilled diligently, paying close attention to the remarks they received on their previous year’s performance.According to Stowe, the students who had been in the chorus for the two other NYSSMA Festivals were particularly eager to perform again and achieve the previously elusive gold rating.When the students found out that they had received the gold rating, “They were ecstatic!” said Stowe.During the judging, the group performed three pieces: two from the NYSSMA manual and one it selected on its own.“The students don’t just go in and let it fly,” said Stowe. “There are a lot of details they have to get down.”During their performance, they were judged on not only their talent and abilities, but on a wide range of criteria, including the appropriateness of the songs for the dynamics of the group all the way down to their breathing, posture and clothing.Students can be rated on solo musical instrument or vocal performances or on a group performance.Solo performances are rated on a numbered scale while group performances will receive either (from highest to lowest) gold, silver, bronze or certificates of participation.

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