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Rocky Point Represented At NYSSMA All-State Conference

Rocky Point High School student Brenna Kiernan was selected to the New York State School Music Association All-State Mixed Chorus. She participated in a concert held at the acclaimed Eastman Theatre in Rochester, New York, during the annual Winter Conference of the New York State School Music Association on Dec. 4.

Brenna auditioned for the All-State Mixed Chorus last spring by submitting a video recording of her singing the Italian aria “Che faro senza Euridice” at the NYSSMA Solo Festival. She received a perfect score as well as glowing comments from the adjudicator. The All-State Mixed Chorus was announced in the fall, and Brenna received the music to start preparing in November. Brenna worked on her own at home as well as with her chorus teacher, Jessica Spitz, during her chorus lessons, at extra help and after school to master the challenging music, which included several different styles of music; 4-part, 6-part and 8-part harmony and four different languages.

After arriving at the NYSSMA conference, Brenna had three full days of rehearsal, singing as much as eight hours in a day during rehearsals with a college-level conductor and 160 other singers from all over the state. When asked how rehearsals were going, Brenna expressed how incredibly inspiring it was to sing with that many voices.

“As her chorus teacher, I feel incredibly privileged to have Brenna as a student because she is such a humble leader in the Rocky Point Chorus Room,” Ms. Spitz said. “She will do anything and everything to support other singers in the chorus and is more eager to shine the spotlight on her peers than to have it on herself. She is always looking to improve and tries any suggestion given in class or in lessons with full enthusiasm.”

 Craig Knapp and Amy Schecher, Rocky Point music department chairpersons, added that they are both very proud of Brenna and her accomplishments. “She is an extremely hard worker and is a very dedicated member of the High School Chorus,” Mr. Knapp said. “Brenna is an outstanding representative of our music department.”

In addition to Brenna participating in the NYSSMA All-State Mixed Chorus, Mr. Knapp co-presented a professional development workshop at the NYSSMA conference, “Super Strategies to Address the Standards in Classroom Music.”

Photo Caption: Craig Knapp (Rocky Point Elementary music department chairperson), Brenna Kiernan (12th grade chorus student) and Jessica Spitz (Rocky Point High

Photo courtesy of the Rocky Point Union Free School District

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