NEW YORK STATE SCHOOLS MUSIC ASSOCIATION FESTIVAL HELD IN ITHACA

The Ithaca City School District (ICSD) will host the New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA), Zone 3, Solo and Ensemble Festival on May 6 and 7, 2016 at Boynton Middle School. Over 1,512 student musicians come from 9 counties to participate. The Fine Arts Booster Group (FABG), with hundreds of community and student volunteers, helps host this event. Interested volunteers may contact president@fabgithaca.org for information.

This is the fourth year that the ICSD has hosted this event. In addition, this is the fourth year that ICSD was recognized by The NAMM Foundation for its “outstanding commitment to music education with a Best Communities for Music Education designation.” The ICSD joined 476 districts across the country to receive the prestigious distinction, out of 13,515 districts nationwide.

At NYSSMA solo and small ensemble festivals, students are given a performance evaluation that involves playing a graded solo from the NYSSMA Manual, playing scales and sight reading. NYSSMA festivals (other than for All-State) are evaluations, not competitions. Students may compete with themselves from year to year, and are evaluated by professionals. NYSSMA Solo Scores are used to determine participants for All-County, Area All-State and Junior High Statewide Honor Band.

An affiliate of the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI), the FABG works in partnership with the ICSD to advocate, support and celebrate all the arts for all the kids. The Fine Arts Boosters strive for increased student access and participation, and for equity in the arts programs. The boosters believe the arts – music, dance and visual, literary and theater arts – are a central part of every child’s public school education. Visit www.fabgithaca.org.

IPEI is a not-for-profit organization that believes the education of every ICSD student is enhanced through community connections and support facilitated by IPEI for students and teachers through engagement, collaboration, gifts, and grants. Visit www.ipei.org.

Ongoing FABG initiatives include mini-grants to teachers, printing the performance booklets for ICSD secondary schools’ concerts and drama productions; fundraising; Play It Again, Ithaca (collection of used musical instruments and funds to purchase new instruments for use in the schools); and various advocacy efforts in support of arts in the schools.

FABG is open to all K-12 staff, parents, students and community members and is concerned with all arts areas. Join the group and volunteer to work on goals – communication, advocacy, grant giving, fundraising, community connections, and instrument recycling.